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NP127 at Yosemite

Started by claytonjandl, 08/25/2006 12:08PM
Posted 08/25/2006 12:08PM Opening Post
Hi all,

just got back from Yosemite this past weekend. Went up there with my
astro club for a 2 day ( FRI. and SAT.) public star party that we put
on for Yosmite National Park every year, up at Glacier Point, which
is about 7000ft. elevation. I actually stayed thru Mon. so I had an
extra night for observing without the crowds.

I brought up with me my NP127 it was the first time in a year and a
half that I've had this scope that I was able to take it to a truly
dark site of 6.5+ mag. skies. The Milky way is so bright and clear up
there that it casts a shadow where you can almost read a newspaper
from its light.

I brought up with me also the new S&T pocket sky atlas that I picked
up a couple of months ago, DSO shown on the atlas down to about 13
mag. With my 11" Starmaster all DSO in that sky atlas can be seen
fairly clearly from my 4.5+ mag. backyard skies, but not so with the
smaller NP127.

WOW! What a difference a truly dark site makes! Up there the NP127
preformed like my 11" Starmaster does from my backyard, with the only
difference being that I had a very wide flat field that was tack
sharp from edge to edge and slightly brighter, I can really get used
to that. There was nothing that was up that was in the atlas that I
couldn't see with the NP127. All the major M galaxies that were up,
you could see their shapes, spiral arms and quite a bit of detail
with direct vision. Same could be said with globular clusters, and
nebulas, it was simply amazing at what I could see with direct
vision! Minor galaxies, globular clusters, and nebulas were also
seen, though just a little better than just a fuzzy spot with a touch
of detail. Just being able to see them was a treat where as in my
backyard with the NP127 you can't see them at all due to light
pollution. Several club members commented at how surprised they were,
at how bright the DSO appeared in that little 5" APO. they were'nt
expecting those kind of veiws at all.

One interesting note is during the night when the Milky way is up
its so bright that you can see Nevada falls from Glacier point, which
is about 2 miles away, and as the night goes on and the Milky way
sets it gets really dark where you really can't see in front of you.
It was at this time where this scope surprised me the most. I turn
the scope to NGC 7331 in Pegasus looked in the 22mm Nagler EP, and
saw something very, very dim at the far end of the field, like a
cluster of something, maybe like molten shadows? I called a few of
the more seasoned DS members over to tell me what I might be looking
at if anything at all, one had an 18" obsession the other 12"
reflector. Both were like "Oh my lord" you can actually see Stephans
Quintet! It was extremly dim but still with averted vision you could
count the 5 little galaxies they were there! We confrimed the
sighting by comparing the view thru the larger scopes, boy was that a
treat!

Over the course of three nights I observed about 100 DSO's and was
delighted at how bright and how much detail was seen with this little
5" NP127 APO. Like I said earlier " Wow what a difference a truly
dark site makes".

Here is a partial list of DSO's that I observed this past weekend
from Yosemite. On the nebulas I tried out the 2" Tele Vue filters I
recently got the Bandmate UHC amd the OIII, both worked well where
some detail would be a little more evident than without it, depending
on the paticular nebula that you were looking at, but most if not all
did not really need it under those conditions.

Draco: UGC10822, NGC:6140, 5985, 6015, 5879, 5907, 5866.
Hercules: M13,M92, NGC6229, 6207.
Scorpius: M7, M6, M4, M62, M19, NGC6139, 6397, 6441, 6541, 6496,
6352, 6397, 6304, 6293, 6355, 6284, 6325, 6401, 6302, 6337.
Cygnus: Veil, Cresent, N. America Nebulas M27.
Lyra: M57, Double Double.
Sagittarius: M70, M69, M8, M20, M17, M16, NGC6652, 6624 6569, 6558,
6528, 6522, 6638, 6559.
Sagitta: M71
Andromeda: M31, M32, M110
Pegasus: NGC7457, 7331, Stephan's Quintet.
Capricornis: M7, NGC7009, 7293, 7293.
Ursa Major: M101, M51, M97, M108, NGC3898, 3780, 3998, 3982,3690.

There were more but not listed.

Nick T.


Posted 08/26/2006 05:40PM #1
Hi Nick,

Thank you for the observing report. I wish that I could have been there!

I remember one night when I was observing in southeast Arizona, I was able to easily see Barnard's Galaxy in my 70mm Pronto.

Thanks again.

Michael Aaron McNeely
TeleVue Forum Moderator
Astromart.com