Saturday, January 29, 2022

another strikeout (Bradford)

I tried again to split the double star Sirius but I was unsuccessful. 

It started out promising in that I observed better seeing conditions even though the transparency was worse than the night before. But then I experienced fogging at the eyepiece and I realized my mistake: I had the eyepiece installed in the optical tube assembly when I put the telescope out hours before to chill down. I should not have left the eyepiece outside. When the chemical hand warmer did not work at clearing the frost I went inside for a deep cycle battery and dew heaters. I actually put two straps on the eyepiece to heat it up fast and that did work! 

In the meantime that transparency was degrading as was the seeing. I still wasn't tagging the companion. Once more to the house, this time for the 2x Tele Vue PowerMate. Effectively I was using a 4mm eyepiece.

Not bad! Not a completely useless mushy view!

Once I thought I saw something, to the east of the primary. And then a second later again I saw something again, a very faint star, a easy distance away, not directly in the glare. Was that it?! 

I really wanted some more sightings but the transparency and seeing continued to decline and I packed it in.

I really do like the insulated bib overalls! Is this what a space suit feels like? When I first put it on I can feel the limited range and the bulk but after a short while at the eyepiece, I don't notice it anymore; rather my legs were completely warm, they were fine. 

This time I had another layer for my torso: long sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, Cookie Monster sweater, RASC vest, fleece sweater, and finally the winter coat. At the end I was feeling a bit cool but I think it was that I was sweating through the inner layers because of all the running around.

Tonight's air temperature was a little higher but there was a bit of a breeze and the humidity was elevated so overall it felt kind of the same. Damned cold. Winter dark bitter chill.

I had high hopes early on but I'm really not comfortable with those two brief sightings. Anywho, the stars of alpha Canis Majoris ain't going anywhere soon...


Wait, is the old Kendrick 2-inch strap dead? If so, I should not have it in the dew fighting case...


Yep, found the Kendrick eyepiece strap faulty (on 26 Jan '19) two years ago! That's why I made my own...


The Orion XT10 specs:
  • Optical diameter: 254mm (i.e. 10 inches)
  • Focal length: 1200mm
  • Focal ratio: f/4.7
  • Resolving power: 0.46arc*sec
  • Lowest useful magnification: 36x
  • Highest useful magnification: 300x
  • Highest theoretical magnification: 508x
  • Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.7
  • Secondary mirror obstruction: 63mm
  • Secondary mirror obstruction by diameter: 25%
  • Secondary mirror obstruction by area: 6%
  • Tube material: Steel
  • Weight, optical tube: 31 lbs.
  • Weight, mount/tripod: 23 lbs.
So with the baader zoom at 8mm, the magnification is 150x.

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