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Binoviewers at a star party Part I

Started by tomhole, 07/22/2003 06:36PM
Posted 07/22/2003 06:36PM Opening Post
I went to our club's star party this past Saturday and had a lot of fun with the binoviewers. I was looking forward to trying them out in the club's new Celestron CGE1400. I had the Televue binos with the pair of 16 Nagler type 5's that are on loan (my Denks are still travelling around the northeast corridor on loan). I wanted to use them in the CGE1400 without a corrector and do some comparing with
the cyclops view, but mostly I wanted to see what the other club members thought.

Well, the first thing I figured out was 16mm ep's in a 3910mm focal length scope is a bit too much power for most viewing. So I used the 32mm plossls instead. The comparison for cyclops was a 31mm Nagler.

First target was M13. What a view with the 31mm Nagler. More stars than I could ever hope for in my 10" dob. I slid the TV bino in with the 32mm plossls and was treated to a wonderful view as well. Not quite as sharp or bright, but very comfortable and impressive. I have found that you need to let the view settle in with the binos. It seems my brain takes a moment or two to get the image merged and focused. During this settle in time, the view is very
soft and ill defined. After the settle in time (maybe 1 sec and no, this is not scope motion) things take on a very pleasing dimension. Others in the observatory mentioned the dimmer image. No one else at the party was a binoviewer.

Next up was the Ring and Dumbbell nebulae. I tried a trick with a Lumicon UHC filter on one ep and that worked wonderfully. The nebulae through the binos were more pleasing to view, almost surreal through that large aperture. Yup, a bit dimmer but I didn't care so much with the 14" scope. This was a solo show so no one else got to
have a look.

Next stop was Mars. I had spent about 30 minutes on Mars with my XT10 and the binos and then went inside for a peak with the 16 Naglers on the CGE1400. Had a crowd inside the observatory and everyone was excited about getting a look. Well I slid the binos in and got a good focus and was wowed beyond description. I was also a bit flabbergasted that 4" of aperture could crush my 10" dob so handilly. This was the best view of Mars I have had this season.
This was in average seeing and below average transparency. Other folks also declared an abrupt "wow!" and could not believe the view. It was truely remarkable. We never even put in a single ep because everyone wanted to see Mars through the binos. Very, very good.