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Posts Made By: Daryl Crowley

January 31, 2003 07:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

DOB Size Queston

Posted By Daryl Crowley

In general, I know it will vary some between models, but.. What is the most convenient size DOB for viewing? It would seem to me that a DOB that is just eye high when pointed at the zenith would be ideal and seems like it would cause minimal stooping when pointed near the horizon.

I have seen pictures of 16 inch DOBS that seem to fit that criteria and 18 inch DOBs appear to be accompanied by step stools. Any thoughts or general consensus on DOB size as related to viewing comfort or ease of use? Thanks.


February 28, 2003 07:41 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

M102 - How do you observe it?

Posted By Daryl Crowley

I have only seen M102 on one occasion when we had a night of exceptional seeing. On that night I could see it and it resembled M33 on those nights you can see M33.

Otherwise M102 eludes me to the point of frustration. Even my 15x70 Binoculars will fail to give me any hint. All eyepieces in my 5-inch Mak also fail, except for the night outlined above.

Does anyone have any tricks for seeing M102, other than just waiting for the exceptional night? Does it just require a bigger light bucket?


April 14, 2003 10:21 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Viewing the Red Spot

Posted By Daryl Crowley

I have yet to confirm seeing Jupiter’s Red Spot. I have a 5 inch Mak and I have had some great nights of seeing where I can see the main cloud bands quite clearly at 225X yet I have not been able to see any disruption in the clouds that would indicate the possibility of the Red Spot, let alone any direct indication.

I know the Red Spot is more white than red these days but still it escapes me.

I have used both blue and yellow filters. It seems as though I should be able to detect it based on the clarity of many of my observations.

What have you used for success? It may just have not been available on my best night of seeing but I have observed often enough that I doubt I have just been missing it. My scope does a pretty fair job on planets and DSO but this prize has eluded me. Any suggestions or comments? Thanks.

Daryl Crowley

April 16, 2003 04:49 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Thanks for the GRS Information

Posted By Daryl Crowley

Thanks to all who responded to my efforts to see the GRS.

I downloaded the free program that was suggested and I like it better than the one that I already had. Easier to use.

I've probably viewed Jupiter at least 75 times but I have not seen it yet. But armed with the information you all have provided - I WILL SEE IT!

I'm more of a DSO guy than a planet guy but the GRS has interested my since I was 7 years old. I got my first book on astronomy when I was 7 years old. That was 45 years ago. I still have the book and almost everything in it is wrong based on what we know today, but it got me started. It has this great painting of Jupiter with the GRS that filled me with wonder and I still long to catch a glimpse of it.

Thanks again


April 24, 2003 05:31 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Good seeing last night

Posted By Daryl Crowley

We had some great skies last night in Michigan.

My 15x70s could pick up M102(M101).
M104 (That was a first for me in binos!),
M51 was downright brilliant.
I could also see M53 (small but bright)
and M63 was easy.

Plus a lot of other objects that are normally pretty easy in the binos were great last night. (M3,M13,M66,M81,M82, among others were all outstanding last night and M44 is still looking good with visiting Jupiter)

While my binos don't show the detail of my telescope, I find it quite exciting when I can spot DSO objects, it seems more like you are seeing them directly than it does with the scope. I find I like using them both and jump back and forth between them a lot during the night.

I've only had my binoculars since November and I've already recorded over 40 of the Messier objects as well as a number of other NGC objects.

I hope others had those great skies that we did last night.

Daryl Crowley

April 25, 2003 12:37 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Spring Skies and the Virgo Cluster

Posted By Daryl Crowley

It is just me or does everyone love the spring skies and the return of the Virgo cluster;-) I love hunting down those faint little fuzzies and seeing just how far out I can get. My little 5 inch scope has made it out to an estimated 60 million light years, that just blows my mind. I would love to have a 10 inch scope that would get me out farther than that!

There was a question earlier about how big a scope it takes to see spiral structure in the nearby galaxies, I too wonder about that. Evidently Vladimer's 10 inch is not giving the detail he would like. What do you guys with the big DOBs see? Will a 16 inch scope show a lot of structure in say, M51?


April 29, 2003 11:23 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Another Great Night

Posted By Daryl Crowley

After a winter of very limited viewing we have had 4 straight nights of superb seeing in Michigan. Even M101/102 was easily detectable in the extra clear/steady skies.

I was able to put 10 galaxies and 5 globulars in the 15x70s last night. I didn't even get the telescope out. I laid in my homemade "starchair" with a blanket over my legs and just cruised the Milky Way and beyond.

I am also amazed by the number of faint satellites that I see while looking through the binos. No doubt about it, the binos are a LOT of fun! I find my dreams of future toys torn between a big DOB and big binos.


April 29, 2003 01:48 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Re: M94

Posted By Daryl Crowley

I observed M94 last night with my 15x70 binoculars. It is fairly easy and I have observed it with my telescope on several occasions, but the binos have no trouble picking it up, although I don't see it nearly as bright as M81, which I can see with nearly a full moon with binoculars.


May 5, 2003 09:00 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Re: UFO Saturday Night HELP

Posted By Daryl Crowley

This is the best explanation right now and the timing is perfect.

The Soyuz TMA-1 capsule touched down about 460 kilometers (285 miles) short of its targeted area. It landed about 10PM EST Saturday in Russia, which would make it just about the right time to have been over us at 9PM EST.

It also separates from large components before re-entry which might explain the separation we saw. Also the Soyuz is a much larger componentized vehicle than I originally thought.
It still doesn't explain why it did not appear to be moving for 1/2 hour!


May 7, 2003 04:54 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Re: UFO Saturday Night HELP

Posted By Daryl Crowley

One more clue that really helps confirm that we saw the Soyuz re-entry on Saturday night. Not only was the timing perfect along with our other observations, but I read a news article this morning detailing their problems which resulted in space craft coming in VERY STEEPLY. This could account for it appearing to not move because it was headed quite directly at us. Based on the facts that I have been able to match to our observations I am 90+% convinced that we saw the Soyuz re-entry. Pretty cool actually.