Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Bortle Scale - Route 6 In Cortlandt NY -

The Bortle Scale - Bright suburban skies, and Route 6 In Cortlandt NY -

   Image credit: created with the free software Stellarium, retrieved from Sky & Telescope.

I'm happy to report a short, but successful "mini-field-trip" to Cortlandt New York, courtesy of my BIL, Nelson. It was the first outing for my recently acquired Binocs:

The Garrett Optical 100mm binocular telescope
-and-
The New 12x60 handhelds, from Oberwerk.

Nelson enjoyed, and remarked about the abundant FOV in the 12x60's (compared to the narrow FOV of the big Garrett's). 

Among the objects observed, were: 
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy
M33 - The Pinwheel Galaxy
The Double Cluster in Perseus -
(NGC 869 [h Persei] and NGC 884 [Chi Persei])

And, The Milky Way looked great!

I went ahead, and set-up Google Earth, as was described on the very interesting (if somewhat eclectic Page) Here

According to this neat new map - My local skies, here at home, are:

Bortle 6   Bright suburban sky 5.1-5.5
  • the zodiacal light is invisible
  • light pollution makes the sky within 35° of the horizon glows grayish white
  • clouds anywhere in the sky appear fairly bright
  • surroundings are easily visible
  • the Milky Way is only visible near the zenith
  • M33 is not visible, M31 is modestly apparent
  • limiting magnitude with 12.5" reflector is 14.5

If this overlay technique is accurate, then my local light pollution is just about as "good" (maybe even half a magnitude better) than I had originally guesstimated. And I'm really happy about that...

If this is in fact, the case - Then I'll take it! I can work with 'Bright suburban sky'

What this all actually translates into now, for me...Is that I will (eventually) have to confirm this map's accuracy. By "manually" checking the naked-eye visibility of several different constellations / stars, etc.

According to this map, the skies (which I thought were awesome) during a recent Astro-outing, in Cortlandt New York, are:


Bortle 5   Suburban sky 5.6–6.0
  • only hints of zodiacal light are seen on the best nights in autumn and spring
  • light pollution is visible in most, if not all, directions
  • clouds are noticeably brighter than the sky
  • the Milky Way is very weak or invisible near the horizon, and looks washed out overhead
  • limiting magnitude with 12.5" reflector is 15
 Clear skies!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Finally: A Binocular Telescope!

I'm very happy to have "picked up" visual Astronomy observing again.

F/5.3 100mm Garrett Optical

I finally managed to get a nice pair of (early model) Garrett 100mm Binocs. And, I'm going to need a new pair of nebula filters for them.
I was shopping around, just looking, etc. 
But, it didn't take long for me to realize, that I'd be best off with a pair from DGM Optics! Duh!

So, my next Post, will be about the selection and use of nebula filters for this instrument...
Along with a short review.

Clear skies!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Visual Observing Has Commenced Once Again!

I'm very happy to be posting on this blog once again...

Thanks to the generosity (and Herculean effort) of two very dear Friends - I'm now the proud owner, of my very own 8" Cat (SCT Telescope).
A rare, Bausch & Lomb 8001 Schmidt-Cassegrain, with (sidereal) motor drive.

The complete restoration, and collimation of the optics, is still a work in progress...
The first few phases have been completed -

Below is a quick Pic of the telescope.


In the meantime, I've started observing/sketching again (using my Barska 15x70's); and having a lot of fun!
 
 Clear Skies!