Sunday, 26 February 2017

When the wind blows.

VENUS - February 26th 2017 - 18h 15m UT- Jason 60mm/f15 O.G.

This chilly February evening still gripped by the days north wind didn't at first inspire confidence of an observation of Venus.

But as the sky darkened and the many clouds turned to black, Venus in solitude shining brightly in the west silenced my wintry complaints.

The Jason (60mm/f15) refractor was close to hand and within minutes was in the back garden, partially protected by hedge and shed wall.

Tonight would allow a test of my new "plastic" Huygens eyepieces.

Three oculars in all, a 20mm, 12.5mm and 4mm.

I had no idea how well they would work on such a bright object as Venus.

Being that all three are about the cheapest eyepieces you could buy I didn't have high expectations.

The 20mm and 12.5mm eyepieces returned lovely sharp views of the planet, with no false colour noted.

Next was the real test, the 4mm! Again a surprise, no false colour, no sparkly rainbow effects, just simply an enlarged sharp image of the waning crescent Venus.

To begin with I was dubious that any of the three eyepieces would deliver a clear image, probably the colour correction was helped by the focal length of Jason, being an f15 scope it is very forgiving of cheap eyepieces.

If I had used a telescope of f5 focal length I would probably have seen a lovely rainbow and fireworks display, I will have to try out these eyepieces on my f5 reflector one day soon.

After making a quick sketch of Venus it was time to pack up.

The north wind and the ever multiplying clouds told me to clear off and go back to the warmth of our kitchen..!

I was more than happy to oblige.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Venus and the Beehive.

It was cold outside tonight, and the wind was starting to pick up. It would have made more sense to stay indoors, but the promise of Venus through Oscar's optics was calling me.

Venus sketch - post Photoshop

Tonight's image of Venus showed a distinct crescent, a very bright crescent!

I tried out the 80a blue filter on the 9mm ocular, it helped reduce the glare. 

We didn't stay out long;  after a quick glance at M44 the Beehive, Rigel, Aldebaran, the Hyades, and the Orion Nebula, it was time to pack up and retire to the warmth of the house.

It may not have been a long observing session, but it was completely worth the effort of hauling the 12 inch Dobsonian outside, albeit for only twenty minutes.