Thanks for a great first light post. We had three completed this
last week and we have many more going through production now. I hope
to have some more heading out by the end of next week.
I completely understand what you mean about the perfromance on
Saturn with the 115. We had the same experience at WSP.
Don't sell the 115 short. We will do a shootout at JT if the weather
is good and people will then have many opinions on which to base a
Should be loads of fun.
--- In Stellarvue@yahoogroups.com, "Troy L." <troy@s...> wrote:
> I picked up my spanking new SV115 from Vic over the weekend!
> owning a Nighthawk, it was no surprise to me that the 115 is built
> like a (highly refined) tank. I got mine in Stellarblue, and it
> stunning. I know this because I sat and stared at it for a couple
> days while the weather was crummy. Note to Jim S. - I put the M6
> my *original* Stablelock tripod to ensure sturdy and solid
> support. ;-)
> I did a test run in the family room the first night when it was
> raining outside. I hoped that I would then be able to assemble
> everything in my (mostly) dark back yard when the time came.
> the time came sooner than I expected! Monday night was clear as a
> bell, and the 115 collected dust in the family room no more.
> I carried the M6/stablelock, the counter weights, my stool, a few
> eyepieces, and lastly the 115 out to my backyard around 8:30.
> about 15 minutes of messing around with adjusting tripod legs and
> checking the balance with various eyepieces, I started to relax a
yup, paranoid that I'd do something stupid and dump
> it the
> first night out.
> Okay, so what to look at first? I pointed at the Pleiades and put
> the 30mm Superview to take in a big chunk of sky. Wow, Vic is
> about the contrast thing. The sisters and their relatives were
> points of light on a black velvet background. They always seemed
> have a slight bluish cast in my Nighthawk, but the 115 showed
> white stars on black.
> The scope was still adapting to the cool (mid-40's) temp, so I
> refocusing quite a bit at this point. Of course, playing with the
> 2-speed was almost as fun as looking through the eyepiece.
> I then moved on to the Orion Nebula- what the heck, it was above
> trees now. I put in my 13mm Nagler and glided on over. Again,
> trapezium stars were beautiful pinpoints of light, with the nebula
> flowing around them. Quite a sight
I sat there and tracked it
> 10-15 minutes, enjoying the detail I had never seen before.
> I took a peek at Betelgeuse, just to see something with a little
> different color. Another wow- it was like a flame-orange dot
> surrounded by total darkness. Okay, not a great moment in
> astronomical observations, but I'm just experiencing the move
> from a
> very good achromat to a great apo. These subtle things are very
> to me.
> Saturn was pretty much straight overhead, so of course I had to
> eventually get there. I left in the 13mm and pointed almost
> vertical. Another wow moment- The Cassini division jumped out at
> and I could see bands of color on the planet itself. I then went
> the 5mm Tak to get even more up close and personal with it. This
> where I really noticed the jump I had made from an 80 mm objective
> a 115mm. The image was amazingly bright and crisp for 161x. The
> was holding steady and I could easily nudge it along to keep up.
> At this point the eyes were getting a little tired, and my
> were telling me it was time to pack it in. Just as I was about to
> pull the scope off the mount, my wife walked out the back door.
> okay, maybe the contacts can wait just a few more minutes. :-)
> I showed her the Pleiades- "Neat." I showed her the Orion
> "Hey, that looks very nice." (drum roll please) I then
> showed her
> Saturn with the 5mm- "Holy sh*t!! That's amazing!"
> `Nuff said.
> It was a great couple of hours, but also a totally new and
> experience from my Nighthawk/JMI focuser/M4 mount:
> It definitely took me more trips to the backyard to get setup.
> The Nighthawk won't be going away any time soon- need it
> for those quick looks.
> It took a little longer to acclimate to the cool 45ish temp
> The M6 mount is very smooth and points easily, but after
> using the M4 for quite a while now, it took me a bit to
> adapt to the alt-az movement. I'm sure the
> "intuitive" up/down-left/right motion will be just
> that for me very quickly.
> The JMI focuser on my Hawk is nice, but this FT 2-speed is
> awesome! What might have been "close enough" with
> the JMI on the Hawk, I could easily improve on with
> the Feather Touch fine focus knob.
> I was too excited to take notes, so sorry for the lack of detailed
> descriptions. I can see that I will have to start an observing
> to capture the "wow" moments as I experience them. More
> observations to come, as weather permits.
> As Vic said, I'll be taking the new beast to JT in a couple of
> weeks. Now that I've had a taste of it in my light-polluted
> backyard, I can hardly wait to get it to a truly dark site! I
> hope that Southwest doesn't give me any trouble with the full
> dimension carry on. I'd hate to have to buckle the SV115 into
> the seat and have them put me in the baggage compartment.
> the trip is only an hour or so long