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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:56 am
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Location: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Since the time of an accident I suffered in July, I've been unable to do much telescopic observing. I can't drive and need my wife's help to use even one of our small telescopes, as we did on Wednesday evening to observe Venus. However, while my wife was away on Saturday evening, I managed to set up and train my "grab-n-go" 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 achromatic refractor on Venus, with the lens cap aperture stop in place to reduce chromatic aberration, and then on Moon, without assistance.

Venus had increased in apparent size to almost 42 arc seconds and was shining at magnitude -4.9. As I did on Wednesday, I employed my 8-24mm Vixen and 3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom eyepieces. I was able to definitely make out the 25% illuminated Venus as a crescent at 17x, the 24mm setting on the Vixen zoom. I worked through the Vixen's entire range of magnifications (17 to 50x) and then inserted the Nagler zoom, stopping at each focal length for a look. The 3mm click stop setting (133x) produced a fairly large image of the waning crescent planet. The best view was at 5mm (80x).

The 31% illuminated waxing crescent Moon grew increasingly hard to see as hazy clouds began to dominate the southwestern sky. I removed the lens cap aperture stop to brighten the view a bit. Using the Nagler zoom at magnifications of 67 to 133x, I noted lunar features such as the craters Petavius, Atlas, and Hercules and maria such as Mare Crisium and Mare Tranquillitatis.

Dave Mitsky

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


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Location: Off Grid in Paradise... Mag 7 skies
Sorry to hear about the accident, Dave- I hope things get back to normal soon. Glad to hear about the observing session. :cool:

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