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A Mak 180 on DSOs July 24th


philjay
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I tried the 180 Mak on DSOs when I first got it and I must say I was pleased with the views on some objects but since then the Mak has been a dedicated lunar and planetary scope. So tonight I thought I would give it a try tonight for a change. Knowing that the scope gives good views on Globular clusters I thought I would take a tour tonight around some of the summer ones and the brighter DSOs.

 

Scope Skymax 180 Pro
Eyepieces used Vixen LVW 22 (77x) 13 (130x) 5 (340x)

 

Had to spend awhile realigning the finder scope but, the limited FOV of the mak makes this an important task if you want to stand a chance with mount calibration.

Mount calibrated successfully at 22:20 so started on a few doubles to await darker skies

 

Albireo of course, glorious
Epsilon Lyra 77x split both pairs with ease

Cygnus doubles:-
STF2576  matched pair at 8 mag but with a 1.5" split. Easy split with 77x
STF2588 a wide 9.6" almost matched mag 7 pair
19 Cyg Bags of space at 54" and a nice mag contrast of 6 and 10. Primary looked slightly orange
STT 386 a toughy at .09" split and almost matched mag 8. Only just split with 340x due to atmospherics. (I much prefer the cleaner views of doubles with a refractor my 6" would have made this one easier due to the cleaner star images)
STT387 another tough one at 0.6" split and mag 7 pairs but split again at 340x.
STT383 Mag 7 and 10.5 with 18.7 made spotting the secondary easy

5 Aquilae a nice triple with 6, 7.8 and 11.2 mag components. A to B is 13" and A to C is 26". This was easy at 130x as the components form a lop sided triangle.

 

OK it was dark enough for some DSOs now

 

M13. What a stunner, with a dark background this takes up almost a third of the FOV with the 22mm and is glorious with star chains dripping from the core and the resolution of core stars was superb. This view is on a par with what I used to get from the old C11 only not quite as bright.

Then on to M12, M10, M14 M63, M9  

 

I imaged M17 the other night through my FLT98 so I thought I would have a look at this through the Mak. Wow its big at 77x and responds to an O111 filter but not H beta filter.

M16 cluster only visible

M11, lovely with dark lanes through the dense part of the cluster. Stretches across most of the 22mm FOV.

 

M57. Oh yes, at 77x this is the best view I have had of this nebula since my C11. Really bright with a clearly defined ring shape. 130x gave a hint at detail in the ring itself. OIII filter made it stand out more but didnt help with detail.

 

M27, Massive at 77x. Brighter on one main lobe with a hint of the fainter lobes. O111 filter turned it into a round blob with the apple core shape in teh middle, great stuff.

 

M31, 32 & 110.  Very large at 77x, 32 really striking but had to hunt for 110.

 

So if anyone tells you a Mak 180 is a planetary scope only and not very good on DSOs, dont believe them. They perform really well.

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Guest northernstar

That's good to know. Is it good for when I eventually take the plunge into astro photography? I really want a good all round visual scope for both planetary and DSO's but definitely with potential for photos.

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The 190MN is a optimised imaging scope and much faster than the Mak which is F15 and has a very narrow field of view. Which makes it great for planets and double star etc. many DSO targets need a wider FOV to get them in and a faster scope to pull in those photons. So this is where the 190MN will outperform a Mak180. Phil is just showing what can be achieved with a scope that is quite specialised and not that easy to use for anyone that has difficulty polar aligning. The Mak 180 can be tricky to align and with a tight FOV is can be more than a little tricky to target's into view

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Guest northernstar

Although still undecided, the 190MN does sound very promising from what you are saying.  I know I can get a bigger scope for the same price so I have a lot to think about before making my final decision.  I know from reading on here that some of the members are squarely in the dobsonian camp......I have to admit to being "scared" of them though with the various issues such as exposed mirrors and collimation requirements.  On the other hand, am I just worrying about things that in the end are not really that big of an issue........don't know the answer yet.  I will continue researching until I am ready to invest in my next scope.


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Hi Mike, Ron and Tom have covered the difference well.

If you want to view swathes of sky and extended dso s all in one fov the mak is not for you but for the more concentrated dso s like globs, planetaries etc then it performs well and gives you great views with more forgiving eyepieces, e.g. 77x with a 22mm eyepiece.

Also because its f15 with a small fov for use on dso imaging its not ideal. Its slow and has a narrow fov and therefore requires accurate guiding. However it is a bosting lunar and planetary imaging scope, I really love the lunar images it gives with my canon 1000d strapped on the back.

Having said that my next task is to chuck the mintron video camera on it and bag some dsos, that should be interesting:-)

Whatch this space:-)

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Although still undecided, the 190MN does sound very promising from what you are saying. I know I can get a bigger scope for the same price so I have a lot to think about before making my final decision. I know from reading on here that some of the members are squarely in the dobsonian camp......I have to admit to being "scared" of them though with the various issues such as exposed mirrors and collimation requirements. On the other hand, am I just worrying about things that in the end are not really that big of an issue........don't know the answer yet. I will continue researching until I am ready to invest in my next scope.

I don't understand what you are scared off with regards to newtonians? You say "issues" such as exposed mirrors and collimation? They are not issues and are part of a Newtonion scope. Each type of scope has it's own things that need sorting, you just have to learn how to sort them. Everyone on here will be more than happy to help.

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Guest northernstar

Actually, I was saying it's the big dob's that I find kinda daunting. Like I said though, I might just be worried about nothing as I have never actually seen one in use.

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