A Dobsonian Tribute

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A Dobsonian Tribute
Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, January 17, 2014 4:15 AM

Last night I bundled up and spent over two hours observing from my light-polluted, moonlight-drenched front yard in memory of Mr. John Dobson. I used the smallest of the seven Dobsonian-mounted Newtonian reflectors in my stable of telescopes, a 6" f/8 Orion SkyQuest XT6 Dob. Eyepieces utilized were a 6mm Tele Vue Delos (200x), an 8mm Tele Vue Delos (150x), an 8-24mm Vixen zoom eyepiece (50 to 150x), and a 24mm Explore Scientific 68 degree eyepiece (50x). 

It was quite clear initially but gradually clouds began to appear. I called it quits at 11:30 p.m. EST when a final wall of clouds rolled in. If anyone had passed by during the session, they would have been welcome, of course, to have a look. 

My targets included the 15.7-day-old Moon, Jupiter and the four Galilean satellites (Europa was to the west of the planet and Io, Ganymede, and Callisto were, in order of increasing elongation, to the east ), M42, M43, NGC 1981, M41, Rigel, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, Sigma Orionis, Struve 761, M45, the Hyades, Melotte 20, Stock 2, NGC 869 and 884 (the Double Cluster), Almach, M31, Eta Cassiopeiae, and NGC 457. 

Jupiter didn't look half bad at 150 and 200x. I was able to see nine belts and bands. Given the conditions, none of the deep-sky objects were anything to write home about but the challenge of locating many of the more difficult ones with only a 6x30 finderscope under a very bright sky was enjoyable.

Dave Mitsky 

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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