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Second time using NEQ6 at Home on the 02/02/2013


catman161
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So last night was only the second time I have used the NEQ6 Pro at home (3rd time overall) since I bought it a couple of months ago which only goes to show how few a clear nights we have been having.


 


So I took the mount out whilst it was still light and set it pointing north using a compass and I levelled the mount and set the RA and Dec axis with a spirit level so all I had to do in the dark was put the OTA on and wire things up. I went inside and got on with things and took a look outside at around sixish and there was quite a lot of cloud so left it for a bit. I went out to the yard at 7pm and it was nice and clear. Jupiter was high and very bright and the Pleiades looked great. So I set to polar alligning and this I found much easier than doing at Belper as with all the light pollution around me it was easy to see Polaris as it is the only star visible in the polar Scope :)


 


So once done I grabbed the OTA and mounted it and then set to connecting up the leads to the new Kendrick dual controller and to the secodary mirror heater and the cooling fan I bought off Dion. This was the first use of these new bits so I was keen to see how they would make a difference. I had left all the dew control kit bound up together with the cable tidies as shown in my setup thread that I posted in the equipment section earlier this week. I was glad I did because it made it a doddle setting it all up :)


 


So with the dew prevention stuff and cooling fan going I set to allignment. I chose Cappella in Auriga and Caph in Cassiopeia for my allignment stars and I wasn't far out each time and they required just a little centering. I then left the setup to cool and went inside for a cup of tea. I went out after about 40 minutes and turned the cooling fan down to low. I started off messing around looking at things really with no real plan and just scooted from a few objects to the next. Then I decided I shouldn't waste the time and went on Sky Safari and chose "Tonights Best" from the search menu. I really like this feature as it lists the best views of the night and greys out objects that are not yet above the horizn but will be later and allows you to "create observing list". So I scrolled through and chose all the usual suspects that are viewable above the light pollution and houses where I am. I chose:


  • M31
  • M33
  • M34
  • M35
  • M36
  • M37
  • M38
  • M42
  • M44
  • M45
  • M51
  • M52
  • M65
  • M66
  • Jupiter
  • NGC457
  • NGC869

I managed to see all but M33, M51, M65 and M66. My light pollution just does not allow me to see these I have tried for them quite a few times and failed. But the other objects were all looking very nice (consdering my location) last night. The seeing was quite steady early on. I spent a good deal of time watching Jupiter and feel that the addition of the coling fan definitely imporved my view-so very hapy with that purchase. I watched Jupiter for a while and witnessed (first time) not one, but two moon transits accross Jupiters face. I checked the free iPhone app at each time and it said the firat one was lo and the second callisto. I could not take my eyes away fro the EP when this was happening, it was like I was transfixed. I felt very happy to have seen that happen as I had not watched it occur before.


 


When moving between targets I found that sometimes I was a little off center and sometimes not in the EP but visible in finder when I was changing sky area and I had not used the PAE function before so gave it a try and this improved things a lot throughout the night which I was pleased with. I enjoyed looking at each target but spent the most time on NGC457.


 


Ever since Mick showed me the owl cluster at Wymeswold (I hadn't seen it before then) in his Dob I have gone back to it each time I have been out. It's such a beautiful cluster. I decided that as I had recently bought some sketching supplies I would try and sketch it. So I slewed the scope around to it and then grabbed my notebook and pencils and eraser. I have never done sketching until last night and only knew of it what I have read in the sketching section of Astronomy Now and what I have seen on here and other forums. So I used a compass to draw a circle to represent the field of view and then spent about 30 minutes lookng at the owl cluster and breaking it down into small sections and trying to draw each section and gradually it all came together. I have posted the attempt in the sketching secton on here. The other object I spent a little longer on was the double cluster and is my next target for sketching  think, I do like the double cluster.


 


I was forced to call it a night at about 11pm as suddenly it turned like soup seeing wise. I was looking at Jupiter again at the time when that ocurred. It was very cold last night about 1 degree C. Not once did I suffer with any dew problems on the EP, Finder scope or secondary so I am very pleased with how that all performed. I had a thouroughly good three or so hours and saw quite a few targets but definitley feel that the sketching on NGC457 made me concentrate and actually "look" more at the one subject and I saw more than I have seen before for it. I think I will give sketching a go again some time, hopefully from a darker sky.


 


All in all a good night :)


 


Heres the sketch also just in case you wanted to see it :)


 



 


 


Edited by catman161
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Guest Ely Ellis

Excellent report Felix.


 


I was out with my scope last night, I just caught one of Jupiters moons on the edge of Jupiters disc, but could not tell in my scope if it was going in front or behind Jupiter.


 


It was very clear last night though. You got a lot of things in. Like the sketch, I unfortunatly cannot draw / sketch to save my life!


 


Similar situation to you with the sky around 22:30, I could not see clound, but could not see any stars either, I presumed that there was some high level cloud or maybe some mist, so I gave up and packed away.


 


Didn't have the GOTO mount out, just the CG-4, I wanted to give my new (second hand) BST eyepieces a go. They seem to be very good.


 


As for dew, I didn't put my dew heater on last night, and I didn't suffer any dew at all, so maybe it was a very low dew point last night. It was, as you say though, very cold.


 


Anyway, excellent report.


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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Guest Ely Ellis

Difficult to compare the new EP's with anything. My eyesight is not good enough to notice any major differences.


I have the standard Celestron 25mm, the Baader zoom MkIII and now an 8mm and 12mm BST exploreres. So the only thing I can compare them with is the Baader zoom.


I would say that they look at least equal to the Baader zoom, although what I did find better was the large apparent FOV. They were very comfortable to use.


Unfotunatly, there is as bad story with the BST which takes the shine off of them.


The guy that sold them to me was actually trying to scam me. He was quite respected on SGL, but don't know what happened. I paid him the day he advertised them on the 1st January, he then repeatedly lied to me about sending them, lied to me about what he was doing, re-advertised them on ABS on the 17th, tried to offer them to someone else as compensation for another scam and ignored my messages refusing to supply a phone number or address.


Eventually I did get them, the only reason I think is because I used a bank transfer direct to his (or his girfriends) bank account, which is tracable.


There are another 4 people I know of, bought an Aero EP from him, 3 of them paid by paypal, who received nothing and don't hold much hope of getting their money refunded.


Anyway, I will post the full story soon, probably the wrong place to mention it here... doh.


 


They did need a good clean, had to buy some Baader wonder fluid and cloth to clean the optics, but I can't get rid of the smell of fag ash (not smoke). Every time I put my eye up to them, it smells like i'm licking an ashtray!


 


Oops, going on again.


 


So, yes they seem good, they are very comfortable to use.


 


Cheers


 


Martin

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Guest Ely Ellis

Already reported, his status has been taken away from him so he has no classified access. Moderaters allowing him access to the forum just to keep lines of communication open.


He and his other alias has been band from ABS, there is fraud action being taken by 4 other members, he has been using his fathers paypal account which is now subject to investigation.


He has withdrawn his booking from SGL8 but the organisers have already advised him that if he didn't it would be cancelled.


 


Sorry, for hijacking the thread. Will post some details on EMS forum later.


 


Martin


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Great report Felix dont you just love the handset tours? I use mine regularly.


 


Even in my darkish skies last night was soupy so even I was struggling with M33 and M51, if I didnt know what I was looking for I would have missed them.


NGC457 is indeed a nice cluster, Cass area is packed with similarly interesting clusters.


I missed the transits as I was too busy staring at a guiding graph most of the time, glad you caught them, one of my favourite pass times is to sit at the eyepiece of my F15 refractor just watching a transit beginning to end, better than telly any day.

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