Date: Apr 19th 2021
Telescope: Orion Optics VX12 300 mm,
Mount: iOptron CEM120 + Tri-pier360
Used eyepieces: Omegon SWAN 26mm 70°, Tele vue 15 mm Plössl, Baader classic ortho 6 mm
I thought I got the mount problem solved, and since good seeings have been rare, and I really have had a chance to really try out my setup, I decided to go through several targets instead of really observing them.
I started at 10:00 PM local time (DST). The temperature was +4°C and the north-east half of the horizon was still orange after sunset. I had put the setup together earlier, so I did some last settings and waited for the Polaris to emerge. After polar alignment I checked the collimation and if the primary mirror was still pinched. No pinching, but collimation could have been better.
I also noticed, how quickly things happen with the moon. A couple of days ago it was small and low around 11 PM . Now it was about half and high in the sky at midnight. Nasty surprise.
I started with Hercules' M13 and the 26 mm. The
M65 and M66 were directly visible but faint against the moonlit sky with both 26 mm and 15 mm. I took a look at M65 also with the 6 mm, still visible.
M95 and M86 vere barely visible with averted vision with 26 mm.
I realized that the 26 mm was too weak with the moonlight. The secondary shadow was messing up with the viewing. And even if the sky looked dark blue, through the telescope it looked much lighter blue with a darker spot in the middle.
Decided to go with the 15 mm.
Continued with Leo.
M95, M96 and M105 were directly, but barely visible with 15 mm.
Since Virgo was in the south and still low, I decided to look there while I can.
M49, M58, M98 and M100 were not visible.
M60 and M86 were barely visible with averted vision. It helped a bit when I kept my eye closed for a short time and opened it towards the eyepiece. The sky was so light that it made me lose the little dark vision that I got while not looking into the eyepiece or up to the sky.
M85, M90 and M99 well were visible with averted vision.
M89 was visible with averted vision, but with direct vision I could barely tell if I saw it or not.
M84 and M87 were well visible directly. They would probably have looked nice with darker background.
Then turned to Ursa major.
M81 and M82 looked really nice. Just like in some instructional pictures for visual observers.
M108 was barely visible with averted vision.
M97 was so faint, that I'm not sure if I saw that or not.
M101 and M109 kept hiding from me.
At this point it was half past midnight and I decided to take a brek and let the moon get lower. Also had to take my dog out for walk. It was quite overdue because of my activities during the evening and night.
When I returned, I decided to continue with Canes venatici.
entered the M106 to the
I had to call it a night just when the moon got lower and the sky little darker.
It was now 1:15 AM and +1°C.
I'm really annoyed to waste a rare good night (excluding the moon) due to sudden equipment problem.