Monday, March 18, 2013

Stellarvue 90T first night

After a good morning yesterday with the Stellarvue 90T, I briefly used the telescope last night to observe the Moon, Jupiter, and the Pleiades star cluster (which is, after all, the namesake of of the observatory).  It was a beautiful night to observe all these targets naked eye, as Jupiter and the moon were within a few degrees of each other and the Pleiades were not far to the northwest.  I used the telescope (seen at left)  at low power to observe the Pleiades  and with a 35mm Panoptic eyepiece the entire cluster was nicely framed...of course this represents a magnification of 18X with a very large exit pupil meaning that I had to be careful to keep my eye centered quite a bit above the lens of the eyepiece.  I have no doubt that from a dark site on a moonless night that I would easily be able to see some of the nebulosity surrounding this cluster, using this instrument.

Still using the 35mm Panoptic, I was able to get the Moon and Jupiter in the same field of view.  Aesthetically pleasing for sure, but certainly not useful to tease out any real detail in either target.  Increasing the magnification on Jupiter to 126X (5mm eyepiece) brought out the subtle color and shading in the equatorial bands and polar regions that make Jupiter such a  lovely target.  The planet was slightly more tan in color than when observing in my larger 140mm refractor.  There was no spurious color on the planets limb, which was a good sign.  Below is a shot I took with my Canon T2i.  It was 1/50 of a second at ISO 100.  I was using a non-tracking mount, but did use the mirror lock feature of the camera along with a 2 second delay on the shutter release.  Jupiter is at the upper to enlarge.

After observing the moon at various magnifications, I then took a picture of the moon, using a very cheap 2x barlow lens.  This image was 1/13 of a second, also at ISO 100.  Click the image to enlarge.

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