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Eric Mjolnir

Observing report 45 Minutes with my Bushnell 78-5100

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I stepped out onto the deck to have a quick look at the Moon and decided to grab my old Sky Chief II 60mm telescope on an Alt/Az mount. It's been a long time since I have looked through it and the mount reminded me quickly why I haven't! Oh well, I dealt with it as it was part of the experience of using this type of telescope. My first target was Venus. I used the H20 .965 eye piece. Not a bad view with a little chromatic aberration and maybe a lot of atmospheric refraction going on. I moved on to the Moon as that was my reason for bringing out the old scope anyway. The Moon was stunning. It almost filled the full field of view the H20 EP. The terminator was sharp and contrasty. Craters were crisp and I was surprised at the detail I was experiencing. I could detect very little CA along the limb of the Moon. Now I moved the scope to Jupiter using the pitiful straight through 5 X 24 finder scope. Using the two eyes open method I cross haired Jupiter and went to the H20. Jupiter was in the field and with some very gentle coaxing I got it fairly centered. I was surprised again at the detail I was seeing. Two distinct bands revealing a sepia color, and the northern and southern regions and 4 Moons arrayed with one on one side of Jupiter and 3 on the other. I wanted more of this! I put in the the H12.5 EP and refocused. My eyelashes cleaning off any dust that had settled on the EP and peered again at Jupiter. I had to control my breathing and was rewarded with a larger view of the King of planets. Detail remained about the same as I don't think I could quite get the focus good enough with the shaky mount. I went back to the H20 and let Jupiter drift across the EP a few more times. I now want to visit with M42 as it was well positioned to the south west. Finding the belt of Orion in the small finder, and then moving down Orions sword I was shocked when I spotted the nebula with this horrid finder! I am in a fairly dark area of a small town but I would not have believed I could actually see the nebula in that finder. I looked through the H20 and there were the three stars in a line that accompany the trapezium. The 4 stars of the trapezium were tack sharp and surrounded with a pastel teal nebula. Wow! I then put the H12.5 back in and spent about 5 minutes try to get focus as good as I could. This was real tricky with the small field of view and shaky mount. I was finally satisfied with the focus and worked on keeping the trapezium in the center of the field as this is where the view was the best with the H12.5. Would you believe I could see the E and F stars? Me either, but using averted imagination I thought well just maybe. Quite a nice little session with the old Sky Chief. By now my back and knees were aching from stooping and bending at the EP due to the shaky mount that just ain't tall enough for a refractor. I called it a night.....quite an enjoyable night.....brought back a lot of memories...an old friend and myself reminiscing under the stars.


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