Stargazing & Bikepacking

Not-so expensive astronomy and some bikepacking stories

3 uur in -5 bij Uddel

The markers of September 2017 were still in the TriAtlas so it had been a while…

Technically, October 13. was the last time I was out in the field but that one kind off went down the drain because of lack motivation on my part. For this evening on the 7th of February I came prepared: from my personal ‘things to see before I die’ Excel sheet I had selected some objects in Orion, Monoceros, Gemini and two thingies in the upper part of Eridianus that is close to Orion.

Uddel again was dark but transparancy was not as good as was to be expected with the low humidity (~55%). I’d rate it a 5 on the scale below.


So I had a couple of objects marked in the TriAtlas B, but the evening turned out to be more of a social event than a hardcore observing session. Bart and Berrie where there too and we did some talking, a few simultaneous observations and when doing so I compared my 8″ with Berrie’s 10″ and the 12″ of Bart. On fainter objects the difference in visability between the 12″ and 8″ is obvious. But that difference is much less apparent when comparing the 10″ and 8″. Exactly the same thing I noticed when I stepped back from my 12″ Lightbridge to the then new 10″ Sumerian Optics.

The DIY 8″ dobsonian was up to the task. The Telrad dewbuster did it’s job nicely and I had no problems dew whatsoever.

The things I got my sights on where, in no particular order:

  • M42, the Orion Nebula. With and without NPB filter. In the 20 and 9mm eyepieces. In the latter with a NPB I had a good look at the “fish’s mouth”;
  • The 37 Cluster, an open cluster which writes 37 upside down. Cool object;
  • Abell 12 in Berrie’s 10″ and NBP filter. I was unable to spot it in my 8″;
  • Medusa’s Nebula, a very large and faint PN. I think I observed a very faint blur where it’s supposed to be;
  • Double Cluster, again but still nice to look at;
  • NGC2371 and NGC2372, a very cool bi-polar planetary nebula in Gemini. Two bright cores and with averted vision and some imagination a bit of the rest of the nebula;
  • Merope nebula in the Pleiades;

…and some other objects just plain eluded me. Probably because of the crappy coating on the not too big eight incher. For now I am pleased with what I can do with this scope. It being free and all ^_^

Things to improve or just leave as it is:

  • get my own powertank;
  • buy my own 1.25″ NPB filter;
  • maybe get the new coating on the mirror as I am not sure anymore if I should do this at all. I might be better of buying a young 10″;
  • print the TriAtlas B on waterproofed paper;
  • the scope isn’t stable so it shakes for 2 seconds after I aim it. Not very convenient when using high magnification. But I am  not improving that on this scope.

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