Last updated: 3 July 2003
Subject: LXD 55 6" AR Field Trip Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2003 12:05:41 From: Dimitris Rakopoulos (email@example.com) This weekend I had the chance to take a field trip on the country so that I can really test my LXD55 6" AR. A friend of mine (Thanx Stavros for the great place) took me to his home village in Karyes, Sparti. We had a small "searching session" to find the right dark spot and we had two excellent sessions on Friday 27th, and Saturday 28th. On Friday, we started out session at about 23:00. The whole session was dedicated to Messier objects starting off with M4 in Scorpio and ending with M31, the great Andromeda galaxy. We didn't use the Autostar at all, we preferred to find all objects with the finder scope and an atlas. M3 was a bit tricky to find due to the fact that Coma Berenices was a bit dim so we couldn't calculate the distance between Arcturus and Coma Berenices. We could distinguish some stars on the outer part of the globular cluster using a 20mm eyepiece. M4 was found very easily on the finder scope and showed some detail on the 20mm eyepiece (60x magnification). A bit more detail was revealed with the 12.4mm eyepiece (97x magnification). M5 on Serpens was found easily and showed some detail (less than M3) with the 20mm eyepiece. M7 was as always brilliant. The 20mm eyepiece was full of stars, so was the 12.4mm. Still, I prefer my 40mm eyepiece which is very bright and you can see even more stars. Then off to M8 and M20. Lagoon Nebulae and Triffid Nebulae are both on the finder scope and brilliant to watch. I prefer the Lagoon because I could see more stars and nebulosity. Lagoon was great on 40, 26, 20, 12.4 mm eyepieces. My favorite was the 20mm. Enough magnification and field of view. M11 on Aquila is one of my favorite objects. Easy to spot and totally breathtaking. 20mm and 12.4mm were great, and you could see lots of starts there. Then, I thought I'd try my 6.7mm ultra wide angle eyepiece on this baby! That was awesome! I could really enter inside this bright open cluster and see lots and lots of star. Even with the 2x barlow I could still see more star on the core of the cluster. The best of the night! Then, M13 the great globular cluster on Hercules. Easily spotted even with binoculars (we had a piece of Bresser Saturn Zoomar 12x-16x-70 to help our way through difficult objects) M13 shows a tight core that can be penetrated with small eyepieces and reveal several stars. M17, the Omega Nebula on Scorpio. This objects looks like a meteor. The shape is looks like it's moving. Very interesting, and very weird! M27, the Dumbbell Nebulae. One of the most interesting objects of the sky (for me at least). You can see this baby even with the 6.7mm eyepiece. Easily distinguished nebulosity. The Ring Nebulae was easily found but you could not see easily the shape of it. Even with a high magnification of 180x. The object seems small and I think you make it more on your mind than on the eyepiece. There are times that it's better than others but generally this is a small object that looks more that an out-of-focus star than a ring. Then it was M94. This is a vague spiral galaxy on Canes Venatici. Not much to see with the 6". Greater magnification didn't reveal more detail. M51, the famous Whirlpool Galaxy. I could see the core of the object and some formulation around it. The Double Cluster was next and as always amazing. One of my favorites objects. I could see lots of stats or this formation using both 20mm and 40mm eyepieces. And last but not least, the Andromeda Galaxy. I used my 20mm eyepiece but it looks better with the 40mm eyepiece. I could see the core very easily and lots of formulation around it. Andromeda is very bight you can really enjoy it along with M32 and M110 over and under it. Excellent objects to end a seesion. After Andromeda we tried to see M33 but the finder scope was full of dew, so was the scope. We had to end our session at around 4:00. Also, at about 3:00 we took a peak at Mars. Mars is more bright than it was a month ago and it starts to show some interest through a 6" telescope. I will continue tomorrow with our Saturday session. On Saturday we tried to search for more difficult objects (galaxies mainly like M108, 97, 101) but we had to stop early due to heavy dew. Best regards, Dimitris Rakopoulos firstname.lastname@example.org Athens, Greece
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