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First Funky Finder-scope Finds

I’ve recently purchased a ‘take me anywhere’ ‘scope. At 60mm aperture and f5.4 the OTA comes in a 10” long when assembled. It can easily fit in any bag, especially my overfull briefcase. A 24mm Panoptic eyepiece gives a fov of ~5 degrees and x14, a 13mm Nagler offers a ~3 degree fov at x25. Both OK for unmounted use and weighing in at less than 1 kg altogether.

The first view was a magnificent Machholz and Pleiades in the same wide view from the back garden. The ‘scope was a revelation under the darker skies near Wildboarclough. The Double Cluster, Stock 2 and nearby nebulous wisps were all visible. M52, M103, NGCs 7789 and 663 were all great open clusters in Cassiopeia. The Pacman also showed up.

The views in and around Orion and Auriga were magnificent, nebulae and clusters galore. The killer observation was an unfiltered pick-up of the California nebula. Repeated and confirmed over 2 sessions this object requires very clear, dark skies and usually an H-beta filter. The H-beta filter did reveal Barnard’s Loop.

M1, the Rosette and M109 were 3 of a large hotchpotch of objects scored. The lovely pairing of M81 and M82 also warrant a special mention.

All the above observations were made handheld either freestanding or resting against the car.

I should know better but I have been amazed at the capability of this small ‘scope.

Clear skies.

by Paul

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