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M81, Bode’s Galaxy

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Posts Made By: Floyd Blue

July 26, 2003 11:07 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Spider Diffusion Spijkes?

Posted By Floyd Blue

I took out my 15" f/4.9 DOB out last night. I have only owned it for a short time. This is my first DOB and I don't know a lot about observing with one. I have only had SCTs in the past.
I did a lot of looking at Messier objects and NGCs before Mars came up and the views were very good. Others checked it out and said that it had good looking optics. (Swayze Mirror)
When Mars came up I tried to look at it with my 31mm Nagler and I had a very large starburst looking bight spikes in a + pattern. I tried several other Naglers and a couple of Meade UWAs and basically saw the same thing. A filter suppressed them quite a lot. Is this what the diffusion spikes look like when looking through a DOB at a bright object? If not, what else could cause this. The scope was well collimated with a LaserMax collimator. It looked textbook perfect.
These spikes were not apparent at all until I tried to look at Mars. This is the first time I looked at Mars with it.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

July 27, 2003 05:16 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

A Bright and Beautify Sky.

Posted By Floyd Blue

Well Jay,
I went to the Mountain on Friday as I said I would. Most of our club was not going until Saturday, but I didn't like the forcast for Saturday.

I arrived on the mountain at about 7pm and took about 5 minutes to set up the 15" DOB. Another 10 minutes was spent perfecting the collimation, then I left the scope to cool down with the fan running.

I went around looking at all the nice scopes already setup in the parking lot. There were 3 24" DOBs and everything from 6" Astrophysics APO to a 16" Casserain present.
The temperature was extremely plesant for 8,300' and there was still plenty of room on the parking lot for walking around.

I checked out some awesome astrophotography systems with remote computer controls and displays. Many neat toys to look at and dream about!

Finally it began to get dark and I trained my finder on M13, Hercules Cluster, for my first look of the night. Though it was still twilight it was a good view. I knew that this was going to be a good night. As it got darker I checked out M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, and M101 , the Pinwheel Galaxy and M102. The sky was very clear and steady and the view of the galaxies was very good with the spiral arms readily visable. Then I turned to The Ring for a challenge and it was quite clear and detailed.I decided to go for the Dumbbell Nebula next and even without a filter it was very clear and you could see the shape with ease. I decided that the Veil Nebual would be next and it took a couple of minutes to find it, but I was rewarded fot he effort with a great view. I cruised through Sagittarius for a view of The Lagoon, Triffid, Omega and Eagle Nebulas! The Lagoon was so bright it was 3 dimentional. I browsed the skies for about another two hours looking at various Messier and NGC objects.

Then I went and took a look through other scopes. I looked at The Ring through one of the 24" DOBs and was able to see the central star with ease! Checked out a globular through a Meade 7" APO and The Ring through a C-14. Looked through a few more SCTs and Cassegrains and went back to the DOB for a few more views before retiring for the night.

It was 2am when we tore down and headed home. Wife and I were both pretty beat at 3am when we arrived home and went to bed.

I was very pleased with the performance of the 15" DOB after doing all the realignment work on the optics. Got a few compliments on the brightness and clearity of the optics. So I guess the work was worth it! :^)

Saturday the clouds moved in and I was real happy that I had decided to go on Friday! ;^) The Clear Skies Clock had been right again!

Dark Skies to all,

July 29, 2003 09:37 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: edge blackening and eyepiece cleaning

Posted By Floyd Blue

How right you are, I am having a problem with that with one mirror that a guy put the marker around the edge of it. Everytime you try to clean it the crap bleeds off. I will one day take it out and try to remove it all with alcohol. I would say never put that stuff on any optic that will ever be cleaned.

August 1, 2003 05:49 AM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Floyd Blue

All I really want is just a bit of perfection. You know, something that is absolutely perfect in every way. I would like it to be at least 15" in aperture and cost under $1500 including shipping!

Is that too much to ask?

I mean just how hard can it be to melt some glass and grind on it for a while and put a coating of cheap aluminum?

And just how much does a 4x8 sheet of plywood cost anyway?

Add a few odds and ends and you have a scope, right?

Nooooooo! It takes a dedicated individual that will slave many hours pouring his sweat and heart into these inanimate pieces of wood, glass and metal to mold them into a fine astronomical instrument. Much skill is required combined with pride in workmanship to accomplish this fantastic feat of hand and eye coordination.

So, when you talk to one of these individuals that are building fine scopes, think about that. Tell them you appreciate their effort and pay them the money they ask for their works of art and science!

I wish that I was skilled enough to make a fine mirror and construct the perfect scope. Ahhh, what a nice thought! ;^)
But I alas, am not a sculpture of wood and glass and metal. But I am a lover of fine workmanship.

Thank you all who strive to accomplish this impossible task of building the perfect telescope. With out your efforts we would all be just staring at those small pinpoints in the sky and be wondering what it all really looks like.

August 2, 2003 05:13 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Something completely different!

Posted By Floyd Blue

Has anyone come up with a way to cover rough ground or asphalt? I mean something like a portable surface that you can set up that does not weigh a ton or take up the whole pickup bed?
When you use even a short ladder to see through the EP is is not very nice to have holes and uneven ground to deal with all night! :^)
Our best site has asphalt but it is in sad shape,it is due to be resurfaced next year. Until then I have to deal with a poor piece of dirt or crumbling asphalt and would like some ideas.
I have a 15" DOB and an 8" SCT so it would be nice to use with both scopes.
Thanks for you suggestions,

August 2, 2003 06:27 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Spring Flower

Posted By Floyd Blue

Here is a shot of an unknown flowering bush. I have no idea of what it is. I just liked the shape and color.

August 2, 2003 06:41 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Creek in fall colors

Posted By Floyd Blue

Fall picture of a creek in full color.
Hope you like it.

August 2, 2003 06:42 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

A study in color and contrast

Posted By Floyd Blue

Can you guess what this is? Hint? Pine trees have this.
Hope you like it.

August 4, 2003 05:50 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Re: SCT Counterbalance System Finished

Posted By Floyd Blue

Great price and nice looking too. Makes me wish I had not bought mine for the NS8GPS! Ohh well, I needed one and didn't have a lot of time before I was going to use it.

August 6, 2003 01:17 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade 2" Filters

Posted By Floyd Blue

Just a word of warning the Meade 2" filters are 49mm not 48mm and will not fit Televue or other EPs.

There are 49mm to 48mm adapters available in case you get into this problem. I just purchased an 0-III and Narrow Band Nebula filters and they both had to have adapters.

The adapters are not too expensive however and if you get a good deal on the filters it is problably worth while.