Going Back to 1971

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Going Back to 1971

Postby Aratus » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:32 pm

On Christmas Day 1971 I received my first telescope - a Tasco 4TVE refractor. Image
This is a 40mm or 1 1/2 inch refractor. Typically it was cloudy on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and the day after, but on 28th December, the sky cleared allowing me to view the moon at around 4pm. I filled out a log of all my observing over the next 5 years with that telescope. I have since typed up my log on the computer, and I was wondering if I could illustrate the observations with photos taken today. I still have the telescope and converting it to take a modern CCD camera was not easy, but I finally did it. So over the last couple of weeks I have been taking images of objects mentioned in the log. 15sec exposures seem to give images which are identical to what can be seen through the telescope. By coincidence the moon on 19th December 2018 was very close to what it had been on 28th December 1971, so I took a photo of it through the Tasco. I've cropped it to show what it looked like through the telescope at x25 magnification.Image

The log entry was rather basic - but it matches.
The moon was gibbous
I could see Tycho at the bottom, very bright with rays. The crater, Plato at the top, with the Bay of Rainbows. Copernicus in the middle.


If nothing else I hope this shows what can be done with a very small telescope. Most people will be starting off with something quite a bit bigger. If I can get 5 years of enjoyment out of a 40mm telescope, then there is a good chance that a new 80 or 105mm telescope will do just as well - if not not better.

Here are a few recent photos and the matching log entries from the 1970s.

9th February 1975

Image
Two faint patches of stars, and 7 brighter stars in each cluster.

This never looks very good through a large telescope since there are so many stars. It actually looks more interesting through a small telescope.

7th March 1975
Image
Phi Cassiopeia is a double star; 5th and 7th magnitude. There are 2 lines of very faint stars surrounding it, forming a cross.

(This is NGC 457 - or the Owl Cluster. Although I had spotted the double star many times before, this was the first time I had seen the stars of the cluster. Today this is a favourite object to show people because it does look quite like an owl with outstretched wings!)

13th March 1975
Image
Alcyone has 3 smaller stars next to it. I saw a string of dim stars going away from it.

This is part of the Pleiades cluster in Taurus.
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
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Re: Going Back to 1971

Postby Graeme1858 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:21 pm

That looks like a very nostalgic project!
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Re: Going Back to 1971

Postby Aratus » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:39 pm

Graeme1858 wrote:That looks like a very nostalgic project!

Absolutely dripping with it. :ugeek:
I haven't yet got out the tank-top, triangled collars and flared trousers! :D

Of course it is dead easy compared to the orginal observation. No endless minutes trying to locate the object, as the Tasco is now mounted on the 'goto' mount, rather than the wooden pedestel I used back then. No having to nudge the tube every so often to keep it in view.

From a practical point of view it shows the objects as they are seen through a small telescope, which I hope will give folk a more realistic depiction of what can be seen. The large telescopes and long photographic exposures are great, but they don't represent what can be seen through the telescope with the eye .

Here are a couple of others. This is M44 or the 'Beehive' cluster in Cancer.

30th January 1975
Image
30 stars observed in a loose cluster. Many seem to be in pairs. There are both red and blue stars.


Messier 42 - the Orion Nebula.

25th January 1975
Image
A broad ‘Y’ shape cloud with a dark, circular patch at the top.
Various wispy clouds
Central group of stars - Trapezium:
1 bright star. 2 medium stars. 1 dim star.
3 other stars in a row.
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Going Back to 1971

Postby Graeme1858 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:09 pm

Aratus wrote:From a practical point of view it shows the objects as they are seen through a small telescope, which I hope will give folk a more realistic depiction of what can be seen. The large telescopes and long photographic exposures are great, but they don't represent what can be seen through the telescope with the eye .


That's very true, I remember M42 and M44 being early wow factors with my first 75mm Newtonian. (along with all the others!) The flares and big collars had gone by then though!
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Miranda 10x50 Binoculars
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Re: Going Back to 1971

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:42 pm

I was doing my O levels.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

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