August 30, 2013

Observing with the C8 (August 29, 2013)

So many cloudy nights!  Summer is like that here, but last night the sky cleared in the evening until very early morning.  Desperate for finely focused starlight, I set up the C8 on the EM-10 and had a look.  I jumped back and forth between 67x and 200x.

Best sight of the night? I'd say it was a tie between Epsilon Lyrae and NGC 6826, the blinking planetary.  The C8 pulls in a respectable number of photons, and "seeing" was decent at 200x last night.  I don't usually look at the Double Double with a large scope.  It's a whole new view at 200x, a much closer view than I can see in my little SV80ED.  NGC 6826 blinked for sure at 67x, showing brightly with averted vision but nearly disappearing when directly viewed.  At 200x, the little blue circle of light held steady.  I was surprised how bright the central star shone.

What was really fun was letting the Samsung tablet do the work.  The SkySafari app connects via bluetooth to a Firefly serial-to-bluetooth adapter on the telescope.  I just tell the app where I want to go, and scope moves right along.  To this long-time starhopper, the ease of moving almost made viewing too fast.  I must have viewed thirty open clusters last night.  Most of them looked great in the C8, framed nicely with the 2-inch, 30mm, 80-degree eyepiece.

A great evening of observing!