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Huygens Challenge Revisited (pt. 3)

Started by DrThud, 07/06/2003 11:00PM
Posted 07/06/2003 11:00PM Opening Post
"Pen Light" & Company:

During these sessions, I also viewed Mars via the Pentax 75 EDHF, noting comparisons with the Explorer’s performance. Again I used the aperture masks, yielding effective ratios of f/10 & f/12.5. I won’t babble too much about how the Pentax fared. As expected, the Pentax was a showoff when not limited by ocular aberrations. Both Huygenians struggled with the faster scope, even in "Pentax 40" & "Pentax 50" modes. The superior correction of the Pentax/Tak combo (~67x) was evident at 40mm (relative to the Explorer/H12.5mm combo). Image fidelity was higher: more sharply defined; better contrast (both low- & high-level) & cleaner hue saturation. The EDHF did very well with its lifetime cohort, the 6mm Abbe (~83x). The level of detail visible through either mask was generally similar to that of the Tasco/Tak combo (~107x). However, the Abbe allowed the Pentax to strut its stuff at full aperture (f/~6.7). Sure, by going full bore with 75mm, I may have digressed from the spirit of Ron B[ee]’s Huygens Challenge, but what the heck; I’ll just call it a benchmark :-). In all aspects, the full-aperture views given by the LE & the Abbe were simply superior, with more detail seen (& more easily so). Tyrrhenum & Syrtis/Iapygia were recognizable, & each hinted at threshold mottling & shades/hues. Of course, at ~67x & 83x, these hints were slight at best. And how about that SR4mm (125x)..? You know what? The little mutant aint half bad, if you feed it premium optics. Full aperture made it struggle a bit, but the details already noted (SPC, Tyrrhenum, Syrtis/Iapygia, yellowish hue) were still there (just not as cleanly rendered). This may have been a function of magnification, but I can’t verify that.

So, what did I learn from the "Huygens Challenge?" What might one glean from such semi-sane & semi-useful experiments with "Jason & the Huygens-nots?" Why would someone in their not-so-right mind spend 10 hours over 3 mornings staring at Mars through 40mm & 50mm apertures? Well, if nothing else, the sessions gave my eye a fine workout. No doubt my observing skill has benefitted greatly from my years of using such small scopes & pushing their limits. Now, I’m more eager to point my relatively monstrous Intes MK67 at Mars & see what’s what.

That brings me to the main reason I launched this crazy "Jason the Explorer" adventure: one word, three letters...
I mean, THAT’S WHY WE ALL DO THIS... isn’t it?

The Explorer is an entertaining little cyclops, but I’ll be devoting much of my gazing time through September to Mars, & I’m hoping to push the limits of the MK67. I won’t balk at using all tools on hand, too – filters, sketches, binocular viewer, maybe even an apodizing mask. Should be a major kick.

Best wishes & loads of fun.

P.S. for Ron B[ee]: Thanks for your spirit & enthusiasm. It sparked some reading & research about Huygens, & I discovered that he & I share the same birthday. Kind’a cool. :-)
Posted 07/06/2003 11:18PM #1
That was a fine Challenge++ met, "Jason", oops I meant Dan ;-)! Gosh, you could make out the Mares as well! My Light Cup's lit off to you, Sir. Indeed, it was exciting for me too to try to relive history. I shudder now to think what you'd be able to see through your fine and cute MK67!

I'd be darned, same birthday! There are many who believes
in reincarnation. If it's not too personal, do you by any chance have Dutch ancestry perhaps, Dan?

Ron B[ee]
PS - I edited this reply quickly as part 3 seemed to arrived before I saw part 1 :-(. Now that I've read all 3 parts, my admiration for your visual acruity now knows no bound! I love your note about Mars being too bright with 60mm aperture, an experience which I share with you which is a surprise in this days and age of the 6"-8" Dob being the norm starter scope.