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Doc

Skywatcher 120ED Triplet Observing Report 29.05.15

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Doc

29.05.15


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Skywatcher Esprit 120ED Triplet


21.30-23.45


Not very dark, slight wind, a little bit cold.


 


 


Went out at 21.30 to set up, the main purpose of tonight was to check how accurate the degree scales are on my new Losmandy AZ8 Mount. I also bought the lap top out so to have the Alt/Az measurements to hand.


 


For the next hour I observed the moon looking a long the terminator, I did a sketch of the area around Sinus Iridum, and the crater Herschel. I found the University Optics Ortho's sharper then my William Optics Uwan's, even though they are more uncomfortable to use because of their bad eye relief they do give better views.


 


Over to Venus next which displayed a wonderful phase, I would say at least 50%.


 


Then over to Jupiter, which as normal displayed two wonderful bands, I couldn't see the GRS, I don't know if it was visible at that time but I did see the moon Io transiting Jupiter and showing a wonderful black spot on it's surface.


 


It was now darker so I centred the scope on M5 and set the degree scales to the Alt/Az measurements given to me by Stellarium. The degree scales feel very well made and lock into place with a reassuring feel. I have replaced the grub screws with longer bolts so they are easier to handle. I then looked up the Alt/Az measurement for Venus and moved the scope to match them and hey presto Venus was just on the edge of the FOV of my 16mm Uwan. I then repeated it with M13 and this time it was just outside my FOV, so I reset the scales and repeated the exercise, after a few attempts I managed to get it almost in the centre of my FOV.


 


I tried for M12 in Ophiuchus a 6.1 Mag Globular cluster but failed to see it, I would imagine being at only 20° above the horizon didn't help. I then found M3 in Canes Venacti, this one was really easy but appeared pretty dim, maybe I expected too much, after all I have been spoilt with a 16" and a 12" dob.


 


M13 in Hercules was pretty good, with my 6mm Ortho inserted I could seen individual stars emerging from the globular. While in Hercules I tried for another globular M92, unfortunately didn't see this one but M92 is 0.7 mag dimmer then M13 and a lot smaller so it's understandable.


 


Next on the list was Bodes Galaxies  M81 and M82, I dialled in the co-ordinates and hey presto there they were, once again very dim but you could make out the shapes. The difference between the 12" dob and a 5" refractor is pretty huge when observing deep space objects.


 


Onto the Double Cluster next and this is where the triplet refractor excelled, just one word wonderful, in my 28mm Uwan I was gobsmacked, I detected no coma which I am used to in the 12" dob , the stars were pinpoints right to the edge, fantastic colour, I spent a long time looking at this view.


 


Next on the list was the double star Alberio, the colour contrast really stood out and once again the stars were pinpoints of light, Very easy to seperate AB.


 


Over to another classic double star next and the famous double double Epsilon Lyra. This is one of favourites and I easily saw the split using my 6mm Ortho. Staying in Lyra I attempted to see M57 the Ring Nebula, this took me a while, I know where it is and in my 12" dob it just appears, but I struggled in the refractor. I did eventually see it but it was extremely dim and only appeared when I was not looking directly at it.


 


The clouds started to roll in about 23.30 so I had a quick look at Saturn, my first view of the year, and as always it looked fantastic.


 


 


 


 


 

 

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Bino-viewer

Nice report Mick.


I find M57 a challenge too with my 132. You can't beat aperture i guess  :lol:


 


How was Saturn ?


Not seen it yet this apparition. 


My southern view is poor from home (trees in the way) and the light pollution from Derby to my south is awful.


Come June though, when its a bit higher, i should be able to get it, and Antares as well, which is on my bucket list to split.


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Tweedledee

Nice report Mick. :thumbsup:

Glad you had a good time and the setting circles did the job.

I can imagine the double cluster being spectacular and nicely framed in the 28mm Uwan.

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Doc

That is on my list as well Rob. Antares is approximately 2.8 arch seconds away from it's companion so should be possible in your scope and my scope. It's a big star 883 times bigger then our sun and 10,000 brighter.


 


Saturn was pretty low so never showed any division, but to simply see it for the first time this year was great.


 


The 28mm Uwan is a simply awesome eyepiece, the best of the Uwan range. The others are good but I think the triplet could do better if it had a better range of eyepieces, I might try either the Pentax XW or TV Delos range.


Edited by Doc

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Smithysteve

A nice report Mick, you had a busy night! Lots of goodies in your report. You must be pleased with that session and your hardware!

You just missed out on the GRS, it was disappearing round the bend at the start of the Io transit, around 9.30pm, I missed it too, but watched the transit from about 10.30pm and caught Io appearing from the side of Jupiter, I was cloud dodging at this point between Saturn and Jupiter, the moon was clouded out too most of the time...

Once the clouds rolled away, I agree with you Mick, Saturn looked fantastic, a gorgeous sight. It's well worth a look even though is is poorly positioned. I,m surprised someone has not posted a few images (don't look at me) it is low, but at opposition now!

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Doc

Thanks for the info Stephen, I thought I had missed the GRS, it's pretty hard to see  :lol:


 


Can't wait till Saturn is higher, it won't be long.


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andyboy1970

Great report Mick.


I was out at a darksite last night and Saturn was looking great but like you I couldn't  see Cassini division in the 4" Televue  or the 8" Newt that I looked through.


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Bino-viewer

Been reading up a bit on doubles Mick........


 


Sad to say that Antares, and Sirius too are probably not splittable from Derby.


Similar to E & F components in the Orion Trap.


They are simply too low down and the seeing is never good enough in all that murk.


Hence the difficultly with seeing Saturns Cassini division ??


 


Such a pity : Antares would be a beautiful star to be able to split, with its green / blue companion.


Got this from SGL : a sketch from an Australian observer to whet your appetite !!


(.....and its quite easy with a 4" or even a 3.5" refractor)


 


18302688855_f17eb9fefc_o.jpgpost-37954-0-27354800-1405984135 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


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Tweedledee

It would certainly be spooky to see a view of it like that and put so much space between the components. :)


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Doc

I will try next time I'm out.


 


As you say it will need to be a really steady night and I agree a tad higher but you can't have everything.


 


Sirius is another ball game the separation is achievable, what is hard is there is a Mag 9 difference between them which puts the companion into the glare of Sirius.


 


I know it was with 16" of aperture but I saw E & F stars of the Trapezium, I was so chuffed when I saw them.


Edited by Doc

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Smithysteve

So glad ours is not that big!!! 😄😓😎

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Sunny Phil

Been reading up a bit on doubles Mick........

 

Sad to say that Antares, and Sirius too are probably not splittable from Derby.

Similar to E & F components in the Orion Trap.

They are simply too low down and the seeing is never good enough in all that murk.

Hence the difficultly with seeing Saturns Cassini division ??

 

Such a pity : Antares would be a beautiful star to be able to split, with its green / blue companion.

Got this from SGL : a sketch from an Australian observer to whet your appetite !!

(.....and its quite easy with a 4" or even a 3.5" refractor)

 

18302688855_f17eb9fefc_o.jpgpost-37954-0-27354800-1405984135 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr

I've split Sirius from Chippenham, Wiltshire but haven't got the kit to photograph it.

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