Fw: The Long and short of observing last night
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----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...>
To: Roy Diffrient <mail@...>; kentblackwell <kent@...>; Kurt.Melow@... <kurt.melow@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2021, 8:13:05 AM EDT
Subject: The Long and short of observing last night
You can't say Vixen does not go out on a limb to create something different.
Kent and I were able to actually plan and observe for an evening last night. The weather called for mostly clear, which it was mostly. The moon was starting to lighten the sky as a waxing crescent but not so bright as to be intrusive. Early on it did not look good as there were quite a few clouds but as the darkness decided they seem to relent a bit. Transparency was actually pretty good at 48% humidity. Saw a fair number of galaxies.
But to the point. Vixen has come out with another unusual eyepiece that at first blush defies rational thought. As a follow on to their excellent high powered eyepieces ranging from 3.4 to 1.6mm they must have been bored with high power. So what do you do? As some politicians say "when they go high; we go low" Vixen has taken them at their word and produced......................a 100mm eyepiece that is 1.25 inch in diameter. Why would you do that the mind asks? Well they claim it is a finder eyepiece that fits in the telescope. Oddly that is exactly what it is. It has a cross hairs and really does accurately convert a scope into what is almost a pone power finder. I bought this is a lark mostly as I do not need it but we did have a lot of fun last night with it attached to the 5 inch and the Orion 14.
Does it work? Well yes.
It has an eye relief measured in meters. Really, ask Kent. You can literally stand back and see a low powered view that is actually pretty good. Kent got back overt a foot! Considering how deep set is orbs are he may have achieved a fair bit over a foot. I could see M-3 in it and the cross hairs were dead on. For fun we projected the crescent moon on a sheet of paper from 2 to 2.5 feet away. Heck you could all gather round the eyepiece from 3 feet and all get a view. Think of the public viewing opportunities. Really. Now I want to try this in a dark sky and see if it is possible to get entire huge nebula in as it does accept filters.
One of the best things you can do if you have a larger reflector is you can create your own shadow transit on the moon. What is transiting is not important. You can create the perfect shadow transit anywhere on the moon you like if you stand off to the side a bit on the eyepiece; yes stand, I said that right. Interestingly the shadow of the secondary mirror really isn't that obvious down the center if you were using it as a finder. You can't fool physics but it does create a fun illusion. Maybe that's what the dinosaurs saw in the last microsecond before the asteroid hit, in the vacuum of the atmosphere...................... before.......................
Well really it is not too obvious surprisingly if using the eyepiece as intended. I thought this was a weird joke but actually I can see some use, especially for beginners and small scope users in manually finding a reference point. The eyepiece appears to be circumcised too if that is an added attraction. I have attached a picture showing the long and short of the Vixen range. 1.6 to 100mm.