|Tonight was a blast. Many nebula caught in the deep gaze of the eyepieces. Tonight, I looked through 3 instruments: 10" Dob (Hardin Deep Space Hunter - autographed by John Dobson himself!), my 12" Dob, my 10x50 nocs.
Spectacular sights through all instruments as my brother and I went on a nebula and new object (denoted by *'s) expedition into the wee hours of the morning. The results... fantastic!
The seeing was so clear and the clarity and light pollution at about as good as it can get for this area and this time of year, I could see the arm of the Milky Way *. This is the first time I've seen it from my backyard (at least and recognized it as such).
North American Nebula *
Nearly straight overhead in the darkest part of the sky and looking through the 12" Dob with the UHC filter straight into the dark patch of the "Gulf of Mexico" this object was clear for the first time. The crescent of the lower quarter of the nebula clouded the area in the top of the field of view in my lowest power eyepiece. I tried to find it in the binoculars and could pssibly make something out, but I'm not 100% sure I saw it through them.
The Veil East was seen both through the binoculars and nicely in the 12" with the UHC filter. Though thinner and smaller than it's western counterpart, this nebula was beautiful.
Oh my goodness! What a sight! The Veil West was nearly straight above me in the darkest part of the sky and with the UHC filter and the 12" Dob, it was absolutely fantastic. Variation in the cloud, clear long fingers, a simply massive nebula. My lowest power eyepiece just gets shy of the entire object in the view. I also looked at this object in the nocs and could get both the East and West Veils in the view. Phenomenal.
Eagle Nebula *
Not as bright or big as some of the other nebula, it was still beautiful. Much nebulosity in a small open cluster. I could not make this one out with the binoculars, but at 116x in the 12", it looked excellent.
Very bright. Easily seen in the nocs and very very bright in the 12" with the UHC. It was also easily found without the filter, but the filter just made it pop out of the darkness that surrounds it.
Triffid Nebula *
This object is much larger and fainter than I expected it to be. The famous dust lane in the cloud was not as discernable as I expected it to be. I could vaguely see it, but it was pretty low on the horizon still and getting washed out somewhat in the glow of Portland. Still, it looked not only cool in the 12", it was easily found in the nocs with the Lagoon nebula in the field of view as well.
Lagoon Nebula *
Wow. This nebula, though lower on the horizon and even more washed out than the Triffid was large and surprizingly bright. It was clear and there was a great deal of detail in the cloud. Spectacular!
Holy samolians! I have seen this only once in my 6" and I have to admit, there is nothing I have seen like it. It is HUGE, it is bright, is has two clear companions (M31 and M110). It was initially found in the 10x50 nocs and then I pointed the Deep Space Hunter at it. Wow! ...wow..... wow
Wild Duck Cluster
An awesome tight, but open cluster. Also easily found as a small bright spot in the nocs, when I pointed the Dob at it it was incredible. Then I put the UHC filter onit and though I have not seen pictures of it with nebulosity, it was clear the there was bluish gas among the stars. Spectacular.
Perseus Double Cluster *
Not another one?!! This is a truly amazing night. Possibly the best to date. These clusters, also initially found in the nocs completely took on a 3 dimentional perspective in the 12" with the 32mm eyepiece. Red stars, blue stars, white stars. Incredible.
I looked at the next few objects as a test between the differences of the 10" and 12" Deep Space Hunters. Though I own the 12", after looking through the 10" I believe I would have been completely satisfied with this scope. It's a bit smaller than the 12" and literally half the price ($490 for the 10" and $950 for the 12").
As always, a wonderful sight. Bright, defined, and clear with the 12" Dob and the UHC filter. This object is also easily found without the UHC, but it is greatly enhanced with it.
Another favorite because of it's unique shape, I looked at this in the 12 and the 10 (as well as the Dumbbell) and i was surprised to see it virtually the same in each scope.
Spiral arms and clear companion in both scopes.
M81 / M82
Both were easily found and captured in the same field of view in both scopes. The Cigar showed us it's vertical dust lane in both scopes.
Excellent resolution of points of light in both scopes, though the 12" showed more points of light and a bit more overall definition.
What can I say. This was an unbelievable night. My brother and I observed for only 2 hours to get all of this and we spent ample time on each object. Many objects we found in the binoculars and used the green laser to point to what we saw. Then I pointed the scope to what we were seeing in the binoculars and ... wow. I'm not creative enough the express in words how incredible it all was.