Monday, June 12, 2017

Better Late Than Never

I got in a couple of hours of good seeing last night.  I had no real targets in mind, but I always look towards Jupiter to begin my observing.

Once I got the scope aligned, slewed to Jupiter and with the ETX-125 (f.l. 1900) using the 32mm, I centered the Big Brut.  I watched the moons for a while and then looked for the Great Red Spot.  I couldn't see it with the 32mm, so switched to the 26mm.

I looked hard with averted vision and yet still couldn't make it out.  Switching to the 17mm with a green filter and thought I saw something on the left side of the planet. Unfortunately, Jupiter moved behind the tree as I was spying on it.  My southern view is very limited.

I then slide the 26mm back in and slewed to M13.  At about 75x, I wasn't able to resolve any stars, but the cluster actually appeared brighter than it did with the 32mm.  I swapped the two out and it was true.  Slipping the 17mm (110x) I still couldn't resolve any individual stars within the main globe, but the cluster was dimmer. 

I then moved to M102 and although I couldn't make out much of anything, I could make out a slight haze with the 27mm.  I then slewed to M101 and again, absolutely nothing but a dark area.  I keep trying to visually see this galaxy, but it really is tough for my small scopes.

Then a thought hit me…could I get both M81 and M82 in the same view?  Using the 27mm, I just barely had both galaxies on either side of the field of view.  I switched to the 32mm and at 65x, they were both comfortably in my view.

Finally, I wanted to see how the ETX-125 handled nebula, so I selected the Ring Nebula (M57), hit the GOTO button and when it was finished slewing, saw the nebula slightly above center.  I centered it and with the 32mm. the 26mm, the 17mm, and 13mm eyepieces, I could easily see the ring, but I couldn't make out any color.  What I did see was seeing shades of gray.  My friend, G.A., says that is all he ever sees…shades of gray.

This post was originally written on May 28.  However, due to brain fart, I never published it.  However, in the time line of things as they happen for this blog, this is the next in line.  Certain things have happened which prevented me from observing, including clouds, irrigation, wind and personal activities.  With things improving (including current cloud cover moving out), I will once again add to this blog and hopefully, not forget to publish.

Until then, clear skies and steady seeing!

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