Last updated: 16 September 2004
Subject: ETX-125 observation report - Manchester, UK - 09/15/04 Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 05:49:15 From: Culpan, Gary (Gary.S.Culpan@astrazeneca.com) Please find attached an ETX-125 observation report from Manchester UK, 09/15/04. Nice clear skies, fairly cold. Very calm - no breeze. Suburban skies so not really optimum viewing. A quality evening's viewing ending with a very welcome visitor ! Set the scope up at 21:50 and finished observing at about 23:25. Ninety minute of intensive viewing. When you see the list of stuff observed in this time with many trees and houses in the way it makes the scope even more remarkable. Had to move the scope twice, therefore two fresh two star alignments needed but very quick and easy to do. Messier Objects --------------- M2 Aquarius New one for me - a bright globular cluster. M11 Scutum Wild Duck Cluster - one of my favourites - superb ! It's like looking at a city from space. M13 Hercules Great but I think there are better ones. Can resolve lots of stars. M15 Pegasus Great compact, bright globular. M27 Vulpecula Dumbell Nebula - can clearly see dumbell shape. Like 3D in the 40mm. M29 Cygnus Unremarkable open cluster. M31 Andromeda Bright fuzzy blob. Looks like a globular to me. M39 Cygnus Great, bright open cluster - many stars. M52 Cassiopeia Small open cluster - not great. M56 Lyra Faint globular. Can just about see it with averted vision. M57 Lyra Ring Nebula - just brilliant. Great with high power. M71 Sagitta Very faint globular. M72 Aquarius Faint globular - couldn't see it ! M73 Aquarius Faint globular - could just about make something out. M92 Hercules This is much better than M13 in my opinion. Forgot to look at M16. NGC Objects ----------- NGC869/NGC884 Double Cluster in Perseus. This is just the best for me. Stunning. Double stars ------------ Pi Aquilae Tests the limits of the scopes resolving power. Two faintish stars only 1.4 arc secs apart. Easy split ! Alpha Hercules Rasalgethi. Lovely double. Almaak Gamma Andromeda. A mini-Albireo. Stunning yellow/blue. Planets ------- Now this is where the ETX excelled. I set the scope up so Aquarius area was in full view. I aligned to a star in Aquarius and performed a synch so it made the slewing very accurate indeed. Punched in Uranus and there it was in the centre of the 40mm (47x) eyepiece! I could tell it was different to a star but need confirmation so I swapped eyepieces for the 6.4mm (297x) one.... A huge green disk was floating in the centre of the field of view ! Well it wasn't huge but was clearly a disk. It was clearly green - no doubt about it. Better was to come... I tapped in Neptune and the scope duly slewed across Aquarius/Capricornus... I'd forgotten to swap to a lower mag eyepiece and then the scope stopped slewing... I looked in the eyepiece expecting to see nothing but..... Smack bang in the centre of the field of view was a blue disk.....Neptune ! Right in the centre of a 6.4mm eyepiece field of view at 297x I tell you...Remarkable ! It was getting a tad nippy so I decided to turn the scope off and carried it towards my house to retire for the night. I quickly glanced to the east and guess what was there ? Hanging there resplendently sparkling between two trees... The first sign that Winter is on it's way............ The Pleiades !!! Well sack going in the house now I thought and the scope was duly put back on the deck. No need for fancy alignments - just line it up and away we go. Beautiful it was too. Bit too big for the 40mm eyepiece so I'll have to get the 56mm next ! So add M45 to the list of Messier objects. Summary 16 Messier objects, 1 NGC object, 3 double stars and 2 planets - all in 90 minutes ! I just love this scope - it's an object of beauty. Regards, Gary Culpan Manchester UK
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