Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

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jeff.stevens
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Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by jeff.stevens »

I set up ready to observe the occultation of the relatively bright star (+5.85) HU Tauri last night, about 30 minutes before the event. At the time the sky looked to have good spells of clear patches in the swiftly drifting cloud base. However, by the time of the occultation, I could barely see the Moon - just an opaque milky glow. Did anyone else observe it?

Despite this, I did enjoy the brief clear spells, observing using a small William Optics refractor (66mm) with a 388mm focal length. When it’s not cloudy, and under good observing conditions, it presents a superb crisp and clear view. I do have a two inch eyepiece for this, which I’m going to try and make more use of (new year resolution), so I will hopefully post my experience of using this. I was reminded of this by a previous post where I think SkyBrowser mentioned using a rich field telescope with a 2” eyepiece.

I was also attempting to capture an image of the Moon using my mobile phone, something I’ve never been particularly successful with in the past. The attached image is the result, albeit taken whilst the moon was covered in a hazy cloud layer.

I still appreciate any opportunity to get out and observe, even under such poor conditions, and I really enjoyed familiarising myself with the refractor and equatorial mount once more.

Best wishes, Jeff.
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Cliff
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by Cliff »

Steve
A very nice eerie Moon .
Ironically I can't use and never succeed in using my mobile phone for it's original purpose, because of my deafness. So I envy your success.
Best of luck from Cliff
jeff.stevens
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by jeff.stevens »

Cheers Cliff. It is very eerie watching the Moon fade in and out of the cloud. Very atmospheric though. I have a solar filter for this scope, which I made from Baader solar filter film. So, when I get to see the sun again, I’ll give it a go and see what solar cycle 25 is like.

Best wishes, Jeff.
RMSteele
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by RMSteele »

Jeff, love the Moon image, it's so atmospheric (literally!). Am v interested how you get on with the refractor - so much more convenient than the dob, no doubt. I really look forward to more of your observations with the refractor. Best wishes Bob
jeff.stevens
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by jeff.stevens »

Thanks Bob. The beauty of the refractor is that it is more manageable, and probably more likely to get used. I sold my 8” Dob just before Christmas as I was finding it too heavy to lift (I was diagnosed with a hernia the week after I sold it - couldn’t write the script for it). I have also had to have a revision of my Astro kit with a forthcoming house move in progress.

Best wishes, Jeff.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by SkyBrowser »

jeff.stevens wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:58 pm I do have a two inch eyepiece for this, which I’m going to try and make more use of (new year resolution), so I will hopefully post my experience of using this. I was reminded of this by a previous post where I think SkyBrowser mentioned using a rich field telescope with a 2” eyepiece.
This is currently a twinkle in my eye. But, once Xmas and the New Year are done and dusted I'm thinking about 78mm refractor with 1.25" eyepieces initially (i.e. my existing eyepieces) then, when funds permit, I'm hoping to get a 2" diagonal and some 2" eyepieces. Might start with a 41m Panoptic, though it's an arm and a leg to buy! Does anybody have any experience of this? I like the idea of a very wide field of view so I don't have to perform gymnastics trying to get to the finder eyepiece.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by SkyBrowser »

jeff.stevens wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:58 pm I was also attempting to capture an image of the Moon using my mobile phone, something I’ve never been particularly successful with in the past.
That's more succesful than I've ever been with a mobile 'phone! Just won't work for me. Might have to filch other half's and see if that helps.
David Frydman
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by David Frydman »

My old 123mm f/5 refractor goes from 16x with an old Kodak 38mm Eyepiece.
4.7 degree field.
The drawtube is 3 inches diameter.
The telescope has no finder as it doesn't need one.

There are modern 3 inch eyepieces, maybe also bigger.
The Yerkes refractor drawtube may be 5 inch diameter.

The 123mm refractor goes up to 145x with a 4.3mm Swift ortho eyepiece.
Fully useful.

The Clave 3mm gives 210x, but this is too high power, although it works.

Happy New Year to all.

Regards,
David
brian livesey
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by brian livesey »

Regarding your heavy 8-inch reflector Jeff, did you consider having its mounting raised on wheels? I have the same aperture 'scope and two hernias. I'm considering making a triangular metal frame and having,say, industrial quality trolley wheels at each corner.
The 'scope would have been easier to handle if the tube had been in aluminium instead of steel.
brian
jeff.stevens
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by jeff.stevens »

Ouch, two hernias sounds nasty.

I must admit I hadn’t thought of wheels, Brian. I did give some thought to leaving it in a permanent observing position but with a sturdy cover over it. However, then we decided to move, and I’d noticed I was getting a bit of pain when lifting it, so I decided to let it go.

Our new place has a significantly smaller garden, but will actually give me a better view of the sky, and under slightly darker skies. So, I’ll have a bit of a review once I’ve moved in and then I may look to get another ‘scope, although I quite fancy a long focal length refractor.

Best wishes, Jeff.
michael feist
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by michael feist »

Telescopes with large diameter drawtubes; I have, on occasion, come across a spotting scope with a particularly stout eye-end. Having a particularly large nose, I could not get my eye to the centre of the eyepiece. My father and grandfather also had large noses...and now for the joke...they run in the family! regards mike :D
brian livesey
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Re: Attempt at HU Tauri Occultation 27 Dec 2020

Post by brian livesey »

There's another lovely sky phenomenon on today's Astronomy Picture of the Day from Iceland.
brian
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