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7170ZS 105 - My first seeing report

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  • Jeremy Francisco
    Jan 23, 2006
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      Finally!  Clear and dark skies greeted me last night and I drove 30 minutes north to truly dark skies in the middle of Pawnee National Grasslands (CO).  After two hours of sub-twenty degree weather I reluctantly packed up and drove home, but not before some celestial treats.  

      I must say that the more I use my ZS 105, the more I like it.  After reading all of the reports about how great the ZS 10th Anniversary scope is and what great views everyone was getting, I had been questioning my sanity in giving mine up in order to get the ZS 105.  I doubt no more; here are my impressions (basically notes to myself on what I saw.)

      Seeing tonight was steady and very dark.  For the record, I did not observe any chromatic aberration while the telescope was in focus.  There was a little violet on the top of Sirius when the scope was focused to the front, but I could not see any when it was focused to the rear.  The only color visible was the true color of the stars.

      Equipment Used:

      Telescope - William Optics ZS 105 w/ Burgess 2” dielectric diagonal
      Eyepieces - TMB/Burgess 6-mm; WO binoviewers with 20mm WO and 1.6 corrector, the 20mm WO alone
      Mount - Stellarvue M6

      Saturn - At 196x the Cassini division was very clear and obvious.  I was able to observe horizontal stripes on the planet proper as well as shadows created by the rings on the planet and planet on the rings.

      M42/43 & NGC 1977 - Wow!  The nebula looked like water caught in an eddy of a fast moving stream; I’ve never seen that much detail in this nebula before.  The trapezium was resolved to six stars, the first time I have been able to see the sixth star. 

      M31, M32 & M110 - Under lesser light I was unable to see M32 & M110 clearly,  so I wanted to glimpse all three.  Tonight there was no doubt as to what I was seeing, all three galaxies were evident with 110 clearly visible.

      M33 - I realize this galaxy is easily washed out in light polluted skies and that light pollution to night was quite low, but I was surprised as to how bright M33 was.  The amount of detail visible was wonderful;  using averted vision I could make out the arms of the galaxy!

      M45 - The nebulosity was beautiful tonight.

      Sigma Orionis and Beta Monocerotis - Both star systems resolved very nicely.  Speaking of color, the colors of the stars were visible; the red of star D in Sigma Orionis etc.

      Horsehead Nebula - I was finally able to see this nebula.  This has always been one of my favorite photographed nebulas and I was finally able to see it in person.  A faint fuzzy,  but it was there.

      M44 & M41 - I did not spend much time on these and when ahead and took a peak since I was in the neighborhood.  The most interesting thing that I noted was the color of the stars.  Most noted was the orange star in the middle of M41; contrasted nicely with the other stars.

      Sirius - Incredibly bright star; the only color I saw was the hot white/blue of the star.   No coloration on the fringe noticed.

      I realize that I moved around a lot last night and did not take a tremendous amount of time on any one object; ten to fifteen minutes each.  Seeing as how this was my first time under extremely good skies, I was like a kid in a candy store.  I assume I’ll eventually settle down and take my time as I gain more experience.  Considering it has been over fifteen years since I last looked to the heavens in a telescope, I feel I did quite well last night.

      Tired  but fulfilled,

      Jeremy F
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