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Deepsky, Herschel and Tirion

Observing the deepsky
This weekend is packed with astronomy. Last night I enjoyed a few hours of stargazing with Leo, a fellow astronomer. We toured Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda and Perseus using big binoculars (15x80 and 20x90) and the Sky Window / Sky Mirror. Occasionally we used Leo's 10-inch Dobson. We visited a few of old friends: Stock 2, the double cluster, ET (NGC 457), Herschel's Garnet Star, M 31, The hockey stick, Alpha Persei Moving Cluster, Algol, and later that evening a nearly full Moon. The seeing was not to good, but it felt good to have a few hours of deepsky observing after two weeks.

Herschel Prism
Today I re-assembled my 4-inch refractor. Last week, the tube was shortened by two inches to be able to (hopefully) enable the TAL 100RS with the Baader Herschel prism. Yesterday I sprayed the tube with white paint, and this morning I couldn't wait to test it with the new Baader Herschel prism. It snapped into focus without any problems. Maybe I just have to collimate the refractor a little, because the lens cell has been removed.

The views with the Herschel Prism (in combination with the Baader Continuum filter) are very sharp, and the Sun stands out against a jet-black sky. The granulation is visible at once, and looking at the big sunspot that is around right now, the contrast between umbra, penumbra and the sun's surface is stunning. Maybe I can shoot some images tomorrow. However, the sunspot is moving rapidly towards the limb of the Sun, so I just have to wait and see.

Wil Tirion
This afternoon I went to my local astronomy club, where Wil Tirion gave a really interesting lecture about the history of mapping the stars, and about his own work as a cartographer of the night sky. We also got the chance to have a look at many of his beautiful and accurate Sky atlases, star charts, and other publications. Of course I couldn't resist buying one of the newer publications he worked on, Collins' Atlas of the Nightsky by Storm Dunlop. The book is illustrated by Wil Tirion (star charts) and Antonin Rukl (moon maps), and covers the Moon, the Planets and the deepsky (northern and southern hemisphere).

I will be back soon with some more info on this book, but also on the Herschel prism.

Clear Skies! cool smile


Baader Herschel Prism

Posted by Math on 09/17 at 03:44 PM
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