In any case, despite having new kit to test, I’ve been thwarted by the infamous smokescreen. I don’t like testing under conditions that aren’t cloud free, better than average transparency and at least average seeing conditions. For testing out tonight the object of interest is the Altair Astro 1.25” Tri-Band
At 10pm I found a spot that was partly shaded by a tree, donned my observing vest/cowl and proceeded.
So, the selected kit for the evening consisted of:
• VMC110L with the Orion EZ Finder II red dot finder and the Meade HD60 25mm eyepiece and Antares 0.5x focal reducer in the up port on the flip mirror, the Vixen 1.25” diagonal on the through port
• Orion Star Seeker III Mount
• 24mm Panoptic with the Altair Astro 1.25” Tri-Band
• An assortment of pseudo Masuyama eyepieces, in this case consisting of
o Orion 25mm Ultrascopic
o Meade 12.4 mm Super Plossl
o Orion 10mm Ultrascopic
o Kasai 5mm AstroPlan
With the VMC110L these combinations give:
Meade HD60 25mm with Antares 0.5x focal reducer
M=20, TFOV=2.9 deg, exit pupil = 5.32mm
Panoptic 24mm M=43, TFOV=1.58 deg, exit pupil = 2.55mm
Orion Us 25mm M=41, TFOV=1.26 deg, exit pupil = 2.66mm
Meade SP 12.4mm M=83, TFOV=0.62 deg, exit pupil = 1.32mm
Orion US 10mm M=103, TFOV=0.50 deg, exit pupil = 1.06mm
I had some difficulty getting set up. My Celestron Li battery apparently was out of juice. However, I had read that a
First on the agenda was to check out the views of
Then I turned to the region about gamma Cyg (Sadr). This was a sheer delight as, aside from the intrinsic beauty of the region, it affirmed that using the Altair filter for visual observation was an excellent means of defeating the local floodlights. Although indiscernible in the unfiltered eyepieces,
So, I checked on my old friend M29, for some reason the “water tank” cluster just tickles me, and on to the Crescent Nebula,
On to Saturn and Jupiter. This involved having to move kit to the unobscured southern sky site on the property. The Panoptic and Altair filter were retired for the night. I didn’t realign just pushed buttons until the red-dot suggested success.
Saturn and Titan were fine but not great. Seeing did not permit resolving the Cassini division, for instance. Nevertheless, the angle between Saturn and the Sun made for the nice illusion of Saturn being a 3-dimensional sphere due to the distribution of brightness over the disk. It looked like the Kasai 5mm
On to Jupiter. 3 of the Galilean moons were visible, Io close, Ganymede further, and Calisto outermost as I IDed later from a crude sketch. I could make out two equatorial bands. One band seemed interestingly discontinuous. Again, the usability of eyepieces maxed out with the Orion Us 10mm. The Kasai 5mm
I have one nice neighbor who since the other neighbor has installed floods offered the use of the back adjacent lot of the house as a set up spot. Very kind.
I’m a believer in “never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity”. I once heard the neighbor with the floodlights discuss with partner about how she didn’t want me in my back yard at night. Partner: “But he’s just using his equipment.” “I don’t care.” Then the floodlights. Tonight, free of the hound of the Baskervilles, nonetheless I overheard:
“Guess who’s back?” and “Is he going to be out there all night?”
Yes, there’s stupidity and malice and there is also malicious stupidity.