Monday, January 31, 2005

24-June-2002: Home@Walnut (M7 in th urban sky)

Having discovered that the Scorpius will crawl to my room windows, I was very excited to setup my telescope there.

The transparency has been excellent yesterday night, I could see over twenty stars despite:-

1. I'm inside home
2. Spot lights are flooding in the sky
3. I've no dark adaptation

When I was doing the alignments (C8 + driven mount), my wife told me that she was feeling sick. I need to unmount everything and took her to the doctor.

Coming back home, I resumed my observation but,

1. Inside another room, with windows closed for air-conditioner
2. Light kept on, for my baby
3. Spot lights are still flooding
4. Nothing to talk about dark adaptation
5. Bright moon was hanging right there

I could barely detect M4, and I understand I shall try to find something else. Instead of the larger scope, I turned to my little Ranger with an non-driven mount.

Having such a small limited window, I scan around exhaustively and slowly.

Finally, I found my old friend:- M7. At 15x, I could see a lot, I mean A LOT, of stars there.

Using the zoom eyepiece, I optimized the constrast by tunning magnification. At one point, I could see that the cluster was three dimensional, dim stars were sinking in the field and brighter stars were floating on top. Woo~~~

Going to another room to fetch in my better quality plossl and ortho, I could see dimmer stars better but it reveals nothing more.

Turning back to the zoom, at 60x, the apparent field of view becomes largest (~55 degree), I could really understand why people shell out BIG money to buy wide field eyepiece. With just 5 degree more, the feeling is a whole lot DIFFERENT! With the increased constrast, even thought I could no loger see the whole cluster, I found it appeared very immensely!

Of course, I shared the view with my wife (she has been better after taking medicine), and she was excited as well.

So, by ALL MEANS observe, since you could see something despite of the bad conditions.

This is the ever best view I had had for my good old friend, M7. I've never been able to spend that many time for a single object, maybe that's why it turns out to be THAT GOOD!

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