A longer observing session with the new 16" Lightbridge.
First of all... SWEET!
Secondly, the details:
It was dark and clear, so I had a longer stint with the scope tonight then the first light evening. Unfortunately, I didn't get started until midnight and packed it in by 2, but it was 2 hours of skies about as dark as they get around here. Seeing was mediocre, and as per usual limited the magnification. In this scope mt 35mm = 60x, 21mm = 100x, 13mm = 161x and the 8 = 262.
I ran through several tests to see how things compare to what I'm used to.
- M15 - Resolves to the core at 161x. Fanastic. Deeper than the the 12" for sure.
- M74 - Clearly visible where with the 12" I couldn't see it.
- NGC 6992 (Eastern Veil) - Barely a hint with no filter as opposed to invisible in the 12" and quite nice with the OIII filter. In the 35 Pan, it remains to fill the view - though it fills it much tighter then it did in the 12 inch.
- NGC 6888 (Crescent Nebula) - Invisible without the O-III filter, but with it, the overall curve and some of the inner nebulosity was present. Again, far better then the 12".
- NGC 6946 - A favorite of mine for dark sky sites, particularly since it shares the FOV wth open cluster - NGC 6939 - I've never seen this one from my house. And still haven't. Perhaps if I were more dark adapter it would have been better, but I'm pretty sure I was good to go.
- NGC 604 (Hydrogen region in M33) - I could see this before, but it was noticeably brighter in the new scope.
I pulled up a handful of other DSO's to look at and each object was excellent considering the seeing was mediocre and I'm at my house.
A Brief Imaging Session - Addendum 9/28
So in playing with the Lightbridge, I'm also still getting to know the Vixen R200SS. I took one hour of M33 to compare it to the hour of M33 from July. The sky was dryer and the seeing was better that night, but there was a slight haze and the skyglow was closely comparable.
The link to M33 with ther MegRez 90 is here: M33 July 08
Though the sky is darker and the stars are smaller, there is more detail and better scale in the R200SS shot for sure. Most excellent. I can't wait to take this setup to a dark site.
Scope: Vixen R200SS 200mm @ f/4 w/Vixen 3746 Coma Corrector
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Camera: Canon EOS 20D (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
Exposure: 60 minutes - 20 @ 180 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image