playing outside

The weather is back to shitty today, but last night, barring the odd cloud, it was actually clear, so I got a chance to put my new eyepieces through their paces. The moon was the main target — a big bright gibbous moon, with lots of craters jumping out along the terminator — and it looked sensational in both the Nagler and the Stratus. The Nagler gave very impressive views, with the extra maginification bringing out more detail while the wide field kept the entire moon in view. Taking in the whole moon at once was more comfortable with the Stratus, though, thanks to its lower magnification and larger true field of view, and it still showed plenty of detail as well.

The problem with having the moon high in the sky is that it light blots out views of faint objects, but I still tried the Nagler on Omega Centauri, a massive globular cluster, and on the Lagoon Nebula quickly with the UHC filter. I’ll have to wait for a clear, moonless night to really see what it do, though.

For a laugh, I threw one of my older eyepieces in while looking at the moon, and the difference was chalk and cheese — the bundled eyepieces aren’t terrible, but they’re definitely not as sharp and have less contrast, and the higher magnification pieces are nowhere near as nice to use thanks to their narrow fields of view. The fancy-pants glass is definitely worth it.

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