I'll get to the title topic in a moment, but first as some of you know we had a change in the primary instrument at Morning Calm Observatory (MCO). More specifically, the 30 inch Obsession DOB
was moved on to a new owner, and the 20 inch Obsession Dob
took its place. To break it in our Culpeper group took advantage of reasonable skies last evening to host an observing session for some of our newbies, as well as some visitors from Charlottesville Astronomical Society (CAS). It was a little breezy at first, but by 9 pm or so the wind subsided and the skies settled down.
A couple of the newbies wanted some training on their scopes; one with an 8 inch Apertura Dob
, and another youngster with a 70mm D, 400mm FL
refractor. The youngster (5th grader) introduced himself at our STEM event earlier in the year, and he has become a very enthusiastic member of our group. We kicked off the evening by checking out both Venus and Jupiter...primarily to get their viewfinders properly aligned. We then took a look at Sirius and Rigel, then on to the Orion Nebula. In the process of locating those objects, I gave them a constellation lesson, helping them identify the Winter constellations (Orion, Canis Major and Minor, Gemini, Auriga, Taurus), as well as brighter stars, and deep sky objects located in those constellations.
While I was doing the tutorial with the newbies, the members of CAS arrived. They had visited MCO several times previously to take advantage of the 30 inch DOB
, but were quite satisfied with the performance of the 20 inch Obsession. One of the members brought along a Night-vision eyepiece (OVNI-M FOM 2600). This was my introduction to this pretty impressive "astronomical device". For those of you who are unfamiliar with this eyepiece, this link does a reasonable job of describing its capability: https://astronomynow.com/2021/07/29/rev ... -eyepiece/
I devoted most of the evening with the newbies, but we all had an opportunity to check out several objects using the night vision configuration, including: the Orion Nebula, the Rosette Nebula, the Leo Triplet, and finally the Whirlpool Galaxy. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the capability to bring out detail and structure with the night vision configuration...at quite the cost, however.