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First time with med-large aperture.

Started by 3rd STONE, 04/14/2010 06:08AM
Posted 04/14/2010 06:08AM | Edited 04/15/2010 06:39PM Opening Post
Up until last night, the largest mirror I ever observed with was an 8". Recently I bought a vintage, if you can call early 90's vintage, locally made 12.5" f/4.8 split tube dob. It has a nice older Meade mirror, came with a few eyepieces and other accessories in a nice hard case and it could fit in my car, so I went for it.

Last night was my first night out with this beast and let me tell you, WOW! What a treat. Globular clusters which were once fuzzy cotton balls, now resolved to the core and the spiral arms of M51 were clearly evident. All this with not so transparent skies, but seeing was excellent.

Once the transparency took a turn for the worst I put the scope on Saturn for a while. For a short period with my TV 3x barlow and 7mm Nagler, I was viewing Saturn at 653x. Saturn appeared almost as big as the full moon does in my Astroscan at low power and during brief moments of steady sky the view was unbelievable!

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons for viewing. Mild, cool nights and no bugs or dew to deal with, just the orchestra of frogs, owls and coyotes in the stillness of the night. Looking forward to next new moon.


Cheers,
Mike




Attached Image:

3rd STONE's attachment for post 50702


Posted 04/14/2010 06:10AM | Edited 04/14/2010 06:13AM #1
Posted 04/15/2010 10:53AM #2
Congratulations on your acquisition. It sounds like you got a good one!

enjoy!
dan
Posted 04/21/2010 06:45PM #3
Hi Mike--

As Dan said, congratulations! I think the deep sky really starts to open up around 12 inches, for the reasons you mentioned--globular clusters resolve and galaxies show lots of detail. And if you've got a good figure on the mirror that you can take Saturn to high powers, well then you've got it all.

best,
George

George Golitzin