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Fifth Session This Year!

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Above: 'Titchy Sixty'. Below: Eyepieces often taken out with the 'Titchy'.




On the 18th, 20:00-22:00, I got my fifth session this year (Altair 60 EDF). The conditions were far from perfect but I got around an hour of cloud free observing. Albireo was nice, and I even observed both of the Hercules Clusters at 11.25x. The Ring Nebula was impossible with the 6mm SvBony (60x), but with the aid of an OIII filter I did manage M27 at about 11x. I eschewed the Tak' 32mm ortho' for a 32mm TV Plossl. The TV is bulkier and heavier but the expansive FOV compensates slightly for the Tak's better contrast.




The real surprise was being able to see a bit of the Western and Eastern Veil Nebulae (Caldwell 33/34), with the aid of the ES OIII filter. This is the first time I've seen it this year!



Stellarium 23.2 (Ubuntu).


The clouds were coming in with an ever increasing rapidity though , so I thought I'd take a peek at Iota Cass while I could. 




This meant going a bit high powered. The Tak' 4mm ortho' combined with the SvBony Barlow element can give 144x (0.4mm exit pupil), the Titchy Sixty can often handle this if conditions allow.




On it's own the 4mm gives me 90x, which was good enough for Saturn in the conditions. 




It also gave me an opportunity to try the Tak' prism for a while. Most low power observing was with a TV Everbrite. The Tak' prism is very light, but surprisingly good. Admittedly the build quality feels a bit 'Christmas Cracker' but it's tougher than it appears. It doesn't always play well with undercuts and there is no filter thread in the nose. It is beautifully light though, which is useful on such a small and highly portable rig.




A 6mm Tak' ortho' and a TV Barlow gave me a decent 120x (0.5mm exit pupil). I had a bit of a 'Homer Simpson' moment (doh!) when I thought there was something wrong with the Titchy's focuser, when it dawned on me that it rotated and had just become loose. I had forgotten that it can be rotated and was loosening the screw actually holding the diagonal to rotate. Well, I have had brain damage lol, and this is only the second time I've had the 60 EDF out this year. Not a bad session, but I wish I'd had more time before the cloud rolled in. 

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