Friday, January 31, 2014

It was a bit nippy (actually damn cold) at one of our dark sites (EL 1350 ft.), but the warm feeling of getting out and enjoying the night kept me and another CAS going later then both of us intended.

The thrill of a new scope no matter of size was also a driving force, and the Vixen 5" f/5 reflector is a fine scope with really excellent optics.

First catching M-42 (naturally) brought out a very nice small scope view of this great object. A quick view of M-35 with Ngc 2158 in the background was also very nice, but I had to go for M-82 and the SN (supernova 2014J).

The view using a 10mm UWF (65x) was better than I thought it was going to be. The SN stood out well within the heavily mottled galaxy.

I moved on to the February and March small scope Galaxy Log video, which the 5" gave a very nice view using powers up to 138x. More details to come in the videos.

At this time I needed to get the 6" f/6.5 refractor going which it didn't mount-wise with GoTo. The extreme cold was just too much, so manual was it for this scope.

Did some galaxy logging for the mid-sized scopes with the 6" refractor.

So as we were nearing the end of our night is when things got a bit more serious with the supernovas (M-82 and M-99).

I put both the 5" reflector and 6" refractor on M-82 and used various magnifications, including nearly identical powers. The 5" reflector did very well, but the difference of the larger refractor was quite evident.

Josh (the other CAS member) was at this time observing M-82 and the SN with his 25" f4 dob. I will say the view was as good or better than most images. The color (pale reddish-orange) of the SN was quite striking when compared to the nearby whitish field star. The detail in the galaxy and the SN being so bright gave it a surreal view. One of the grandest views in a scope I've seen.

The view of M-99 was very impressive…arms and faint SN (2014L)!

Went back to the smaller scopes, and the 6" using a 5.5mm UWF eyepiece (180x). The color in the SN (a pastel orange) was evident. Here the galaxy's mottling and dark lane with the bright SN (though not the view of the 25" of course) was awesome.

I even said to Josh if I was going to have a refractor up here tonight, and though the 6" refractor is a fine scope, I wish this view was through the 8" f/9 refractor (The Beast). I'm quite sure this would have been (along with the view of M-42 from West Virginia) the best of the Beast.

This is a terrific supernova is a great galaxy to observe in almost any scope.

Side note:

Missed the SN (2014G) in Ngc 3448. Plain forgot about it. I'm blaming the cold. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 2014 Galaxy Log video is posted.