Me and my dad had been thinking about doing a run up to Mount Baldy and we finally got everything ready to go. The 14 inch and 70mm refractor easily fit into the car, as well as all of our accesory cases and star charts. Just before we left, my Dad showed me his new 5x 2 inch barlow. We had seen this on ebay and I did know of such a lens.
Anyway, we were all excited to go up there to get away from all the lights. You know it’ll be good seeing when your going up the mountain and seeing the smog and lights from the city below. It is an awesome view, and I was going to take a picture of it, but I forgot the camera. We made it all of the way up there, and we were just about to turn onto Glendora Ridge Road and it was blocked off. It was probably because of the extreme heat lately and they didn’t want to risk a fire of some sort.
We came down the mountain looking for an alternate spot. When were pretty much all the way down, we found a nice parking lot to view in. There were cars going by every once in a while, but no site is perfect. We got everything all set up and we were observing for not more than 45 minutes when were told to leave. I guess the police don’t want people around there after dark.
So we had to pack everything up and go home. Once we got back, we could either take out the scope in the backyard or put it away. We took it out. I will try to list all of the objects I saw, but I might forget some. I saw so many, if you can think of any decent object, I probably saw it.
M57 planetary (as well as the central star)
Cat’s eye nebula (NGC 6543)
Blinking planetary (NGC 6826)
M8 lagoon nebula
M20 Trifid nebula
M31 Andromeda galaxy
M42 Orion nebula
I stayed up pretty much all night. I got to be the first one to see the Orion nebula in the 14 inch. When you view it with that much aperture, you can see structures of clouds and dust going in multiple directions and the nebula extends out very far. In the 10×50 binoculars the whole region is nebulous. I also saw M31 which came out really awesome in a sketch I made.
Shortly after viewing it, I found out there was an area on the edges of the galaxy called NGC 206. I would definitly seen it had I known it was there. One of the other highlights of the night was Jupiter. It was absolutely amazing in the 14 inch, and this is where I got the most use out of the Rini 5x. I was getting clear focus, even when it filled nearly the entire field. I must have spent about 45 minutes on it, and returned to it several times.
I also managed to sketch the Blinking planetary. Also, I was able to pick out several very dim objects with the 70mm, such as the blinking planetary, the Cat’s Eye Nebula and the Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009). I came in around 4:30, and it was still dark. I guess it technically wasn’t all night, but it’s the longest observing run I’ve ever made. I also tried imaging M45 with the digital and they came out OK, you can see the blue stars but not much more.
All in all, one of the best nights I’ve ever had out with the telescope, I need to find a way to stay awake longer though.