Jupiter, M42 and BRRR....

Dec 21

Written by:
12/21/2012 11:07 PM  RssIcon

So I asked for that "cloud filter" a few days ago.  Well, the clouds cleared, and I actually had some free time when it was clear.  So out came the 6" f/10.9 prototype reflector tube, on the SkyView Pro mount.  Not ideal, but the only mount I have for that scope set up right now.

BAM!  Jupiter, first at 82x to center it, then at 183x.  OH YEAH.  A 6mm EP to try at 275, but the very transparent sky wasn't necessarily a steady atmosphere.  That's okay; 183x is quite good.  Good definition of the belt system, and the four moons were tack sharp.

Can't say the same for my eyes.  Why's that?

It is COLD tonight!  Okay, 'grand scheme of things' not that terrible at 19F, but colder than any night I've been outside since... well, since sometime earlier this year when it was late winter 2012!  So 19F feels awfully cold, especially with a 3 to 7 mph breeze right on my face.  Turned around it was fine, but - well, I wasn't looking at anything that direction!

I did turn the scope down towards M42, to give that a shot.  Interesting view... very green, and the Trapezium split quite cleanly.  But because of the cold, my eyes kept watering up.  And the edges of the nebula didn't look distinct.  That could be from a variety of things, including my eyes, the tree branches I was almost looking through, or... well, I don't know.  But the "wings" of the nebula weren't there, despite the strong green color.  And the normally obvious outer greyish areas were just... lacking, and not present.

That particular object really can be fickle, especially dependent upon what the atmosphere is doing.

In any case, it was really cold.  I didn't spend much time looking at or for anything else, because I need to get the "real" tube made for that scope.  Soon.  Very soon.  Because the images from that mirror are fantastic.

And I need to remember how to dress for this kind of weather.  I thought I was... but I guess I didn't.  

More.  Layers.  Needed.

Because the winter night sky is full of great things to see.  And I'm not going to miss out on them on account of a little cold weather!

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.