Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Iridium flare

As an aside to the last post - I also saw my first Iridium Flare as well! I was simply looking up and saw a satellite moving across the heavens, then BOOM! a brilliant flash of light. It also continued to "pulse" before it hit the Earth's shadow.

MJ

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A new scope




I have recently (well months ago actually, but the weather just has not been kind for any viewing at all!) purchased a 2.5in (62mm) Semi Apo refractor. I am a bit of a refractor lover, but, as I already have a 4in Mak I wanted to get something a bit special - so here it is, the Revelation Astro Petzval (giving the Semi Apo) - a very portable scope indeed.
I could do with a better diagonal but I paired it with my Japanese made 26mm Meade LP eyepiece, which is sweet.
The last 2 nights have been absolutely glorious albeit a little light but I just had to get out and give it a go!
I have also been forced to learn a few more stars and constellations as I have had to star-hop as the scope does not have a finder as yet. (I also used the iPhone Distant Suns App.)
The first thing I noticed (well 2 things actually) was how pin-point the stars were which was helped by the smooth action of the Crayford focuser. Even with the small aperture the optical quality was clearly noticeable - no false colour.
I was hoping to see the crescent Moon, Saturn and Mars but as a huge hill sits to my South-West I was out of luck :(
So I turned to a few old faithfulls - M13 (The Globular Cluster in Hercules) and M32 (The Andromeda Galaxy). Both were clearly visible even in the lighter skies with a small mag. and aperture.
I know I need to test the scope more, but on first use it is an absolute find!

MJ