Monday, January 31, 2005

2-July-2003: Shui Hau, Lantau Island

Rushed back home to pick up my C8, Ranger and Giro mount and then packed up to head for Shui Hau. On arrival, lots of people had their scope setup. Since my mount required no alignment, I aimed at the setting moon and what a nice view!

I didn't bring a lot of eyepieces with me. Only the Chinese made 2" wide angle for my C8, plus a 32mm Plossl for my Ranger and a Tele Vue zoom to play with. Balancing is an hard issue since the floor in Shui Hau is inclined. The heavy 2" wide angle is a real problem for proper balancing. I failed to get any point which will allow change of eyepiece without re-centering the target, or tighten the friction control knob of the Giro mount.

Again, deep sky hunting with 8" aperture, plus a 2" wide angle eyepiece, on the Giro mount is a very pleasant experience. Everything was so simple. Look at the chart, locate some brighter stars around the target, aim the rough area with the Rigel Quick Finder, looked into the eyepiece, it's about there, if it's not scan around slowly and the target will be right there within 30 seconds.

Quick and simple and enjoyable! I won't want GOTO of any kind, I mean if I do not go for CCD imaging.

Now, the weakest link in hunting object is not to hunt for it in the sky, but to locate which chart contains it!

Name an object, look up the index, locate the bright star, Rigel, scan a bit, here it is!!! No miss.

Many deep sky objects can be resolved with a 8", what a nice tool to play with!

M4 can be resolved rather nicely, M22, M13 is a dream. M51 shows the parent and the child rather clearly, but no spiral arm yet. M57 shows the hollow ring shape very nicely. M11 is super funny, wild duck!!! Omega Centurie is impressive and fabulous. M6 looks exactly a butterfly, M7 is a gem. M8 shows many nebulousity like M42 in a small scope. M17 is "Nike" in sky! M54, M70, M69 all reveal their
identity under the teapot.

I am sure I saw far more than I can remember. It's just a 2 hours show, time is running to fast. But it won't overwhelm a tired body even we go there after working for a whole day.

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