Visual observing with TALs

An observation of the Great Red Spot (GRS) region made on January 12, 2002 by Carlos Hernandez.

Detail was noted within the GRS (center timed at 081.8 (L2, 160.7 (L3)) as it's southern half was noted to be dark to dusky (3-4/10) compared to the northern half which was bright (7/10, possibly indicating the presence of high-elevation ammonia clouds circulating within the GRS). The long-enduring oval BA (center at 087.9 (L2, or 166.1 (L3)) is visible south-following (Sf) the GRS within the South Temperate Belt (STB, 3/10) and a thin, bright (7/10) projection is noted to extend to the east (preceding) below (south) a depression within the bright (7/10) South Tropical Zone (STrZ). Smaller ovals (7/10) are noted within the STB following BA possibly representing remnants of the larger oval (BA). A thin, dark (3/10) strip is noted preceding the GRS within the southern component of the South Equatorial Belt (SEB-S) which appears to interact with the preceding border of the GRS. The South Equatorial Belt Zone (SEBZ) appears bright (7/10) and expanded preceding the GRS. The Red Spot Hollow (RSH, or White Spot Hollow (WSH), 7/10) appears to be encircled by a dark (3/10) border. A dark (2.5/10) projection (or strip?) is noted to extend over the SEB-S following the GRS. The SEB-S following the GRS appears to interact with the GRS at it's preceding end. Multiple bright to very bright (7-8/10) ovals are noted within the SEBZ following the GRS. The northern component of the South Equatorial Belt (SEB-N) appears thin and dark (3/10). The South Temperate Zone STZ) appears bright (7/10). The South South Temperate Belt (SSTB) appears dark (3/10).

Date (U.T.): January 12, 2002.
Time: 03:45-04:45 UT
Observer: Carlos Hernandez, USA
CM: 063.0-099.3 (L2), 142.0-178.2 (L3)
Instrument: 8-inch (20-cm) F/8.7 Klevtzov-Cassegrain
Magnification: 252x, 368x
Filters (Wratten): 23A, 38A, 64
Seeing (1-10): 7-8 (moments of 9), Antoniadi (I-V): II
Transparency (1-6): 5 (high cirrus clouds present)

Transit Observations:
03:54 U.T. 068.5 L2, 147.7 L3, WP Red (or White) Spot Hollow (RSH, or WSH)
04:00 U.T. 072.1 L2, 151.0 L3, DP Great Red Spot (GRS)
04:16 U.T. 081.8 L2, 160.7 L3, DC GRS (center of GRS)
04:16 U.T. 081.8 L2, 160.7 L3, DC Barge NEB-N
04:32 U.T. 091.4 L2, 170.3 L3, DF GRS
14:35 U.T. 093.2 L2, 172.1 L3, WF RSH (or WSH)

Jupiter 15-11-2001An interesting observation of Jupiter made on November 15, 2001. Two prominent (2/10) festoons were visible along the southern edge of the North Equatorial Belt (NEB-S) with projections extending north over the Equatorial Zone (EZ) connecting to dusky (4/10) condensations within the Equatorial Zone Band (EZB). Two prominent (2.5/10) barges (rods) were noted along the northern edge of the NEB (NEB-N) bordering a bright (7.5/10) oval within the North Tropical Zone (NTrZ). Dark (2/10), elongated condensations were noted within the NEB following the CM and adjacent to the following limb. Much detail was noted within the South Equatorial Belt (SEB), especially following the Great Red Spot (GRS). The GRS appeared dark to dull (3-5/10) and had the appearance of an "eye with an eyebrow" with the preceding and following edges of the White Spot Hollow (WSH, or Red Spot Hollow (RSH)) appearing to connect to it. The North Temperate Belt (NTB) appeared dark (3/10), but no condensations ("pearls") were visible at this longitude.

Date (U.T.): November 15, 2001
Time (U.T.): 05:55
L1 258.4, L2 057.9, L3 121.4
Observer: Carlos Hernandez, USA
Instrument: TAL-200K Klevtzov-Cassegrain
Magnification: 252x
Filters (Wratten): 23A, 38A, 64
Seeing (1-10): 5-6 (periods of 7), Antoniadi (I-V): III-II
Transparency (1-6): 6

Transit Observations (U.T.):
05:32 L1 244.5 L3 107.5 DC Festoon NEB-S
05:53 L1 257.2 L3 120.2 WC Oval EZ-N
06:05 L1 264.5 L3 127.4 DC Festoon NEB-S
06:05 L2 063.9 L3 127.4 WP White Spot Hollow (WSH)
06:11 L2 067.6 L3 131.0 DP Great Red Spot (GRS)
06:11 L2 067.6 L3 131.0 DC Condensation NEB (Dark brownish-red)
06:25 L2 076.0 L3 139.5 DC GRS
06:45 L2 088.1 L3 151.6 DF GRS
06:45 L2 088.1 L3 151.6 WF WSH

Jupiter 27-10-2001A break in our poor South Florida weather allowed me to make an observation of Jupiter under average seeing conditions (4-6/10). Much detail was noted during brief moments of steady seeing. The Great Red Spot (GRS) appeared to contain lightened regions within (7/10). The shadow of Io (I) appeared extremely dark (1/10) over the northern component of the South Equatorial Belt (SEB-N). Prominent festoons (2/10) were visible along the southern edge of the North Equatorial Belt (NEB-S). Io (I) and Europa (II), respectively from preceding to following, were noted along the south-following limb of the planet. A disturbance in the SEB was noted following the GRS and a dark (3/10) projection was noted to apparently connect to the following edge of the GRS.

Date (U.T.): October 27, 2001
Time (U.T.): 05:15
L1 113.3, L2 057.9, L3 116.3
Observer: Carlos Hernandez, USA
Instrument: TAL-200K Klevtzov-Cassegrain
Magnification: 200x
Filters (Wratten): 23A, 38A, 64
Seeing (1-10): 4-6, Antoniadi (I-V): III
Transparency (1-6): 5

Transit Observations:
05:33 U.T. L2 062.7 L3 121.2 DC Shadow of Io (I) over SEB-N
05:27 U.T. L2 065.2 L3 123.6 WP White Spot Hollow (WSH, or Red Spot Hollow (RSH))
05:49 U.T. L2 078.5 L3 136.9 DC Great Red Spot (GRS)
06:00 U.T. L2 085.1 L3 143.6 WF WSH (RSH)

Carlos Hernandez13 June 2001, 07:40 UT
Observer: Carlos Hernandez, USA
CM: 291.9, Ls: 177.5, De: +2.9, Ds: +1.1
Diameter (arc-seconds): 20.5
Telescope: TAL-200K Klevtzov-Cassegrain (Palermiti Observatory)
Mag.: 253x, 354x
Filters: Wratten 23A
Seeing (1-10): 4-6 (brief moments of 7/10), Antoniadi (I-V): III
Violet (Blue) Clearing (0-3): 2

Using this instrument on the planet Mars and many deep sky objects I can honestly state that it is among the finest designs I have ever used in it's aperture range. This is quite a remark coming from much experience using many quality Newtonian and Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors over the years. I have used magnifications of nearly 50x aperture (356x) without any degradation in the image. I look forward to using this instrument in the future for my planetary observations.

23-24 Feb 2001
Observer: Bill Brady
Instrument: 8" Klevzov Cassegrain, TAL-200K
Eyepieces: 40mm Meade SP, 20mm GRO SWA Konig, 16mm UO Konig II, Meade 9.7mm SP, Meade 6.7mm UWA, 9.5 Apogee Super Easy View.
Seeing, steady, VLM 3.5 (poor for this site)
The latest S&T has an article re: doubles around Canis Minor and Hydra I started the night with this list.

Struve 1126

In the same field ad Procyon, easy to find, hard to split. The almost equal primary and secondary are only .9" apart. Time 7PM

Otto Struve 88

Split @ 7:15PM right at end of astronomical twilight, unspectacular wide double.

14 Cmi

Another unremarkable trio. At least 6 stars are in a loose group and it's difficult to ID the trio.

Struve 1183 AB 6.2,7.9 31"

Easy split

h99 6.7, 9.2 61"

Wide double. An interesting pair of almost equal but faint golden stars nearby.

Epsilon Hya, 3.8,7.8 2.9"

Pretty pair, looks like a double.

41-y Gamma Leonis

An old friend, split cleanly with several eyepieces.

83 Leonis 6.2,7.9 28.5' 150°

Found 4 stars, a near equal triangle with a 9.9 90.3" ?? star to one side.

78-i Leonis, 4.0,6.7 w1.7" 117° 11h 23.9m +10°32'

Very tight double, no black

M65, M66

Unable to detect for sure, M66 a maybe.

88 Leonis

Pretty gold and orange unequal pair. For some reason very appealing tonight, possibly because they look so much like a double.

90 Leonis

Another favorite, pretty despite it's bland specs.

So far I have only detected for certain 1 galaxy in the Klevzov. However, VLM has not been better than 4.0 since it arrived. I should have expected to detect M104.

Mars has been observed here 3 times this apparition, once very good images were obtained. It does not rise very high before running behind a tree. I have clearly seen a hint of white and definite dark zones. I will need to observe from a better site.

Wm. "Bill" Brady, Harwood MD 38°51'30"N 76°41'00"W - Clouds - Rain - Clouds then RAIN!

19-20 March 2001
Bill Brady
Last night we had the "best" observational conditions here. This is the first time since the TAL200K arrived. The TAL-200K Klevzov Cassegrain continues to impress.

Conditions were very, very good. VLM was close to 5, and air movement minimal. Unfortunately the Gas Giants and Orion have moved on - out of my viewing "window".

Here is a run down:

41 Gamma Leonis 2.2,3.5 4.4" 127° 10h20m +19°51'

An old favorite, tonight best view yet. Two airy disks with diffraction rings bumping, nice black slice between. A beauty. Both look golden to me as usual, but colors are very good tonight. Best in 1980s 12mm Brandon Ortho.

54 Leonis 4.5,6.3 6.5" 110° 10h55.6m +24°45'

NSOG rates this as a 5. I'd give it a 4 star. Worth the visit though.

17 Vir 6.6,9.4 20" 339°

Uneven Yellow White pair.

29 Gamma Vir 3.5,3.5 1.8" 267° 12h18.2m -3°57'

SPLIT! WOW! This yellow pair has never before separated for me, not in the C-9.26, the M603, or any other scope. Always before I saw a lozenge shape at best. This session I was able to split it in several eyepieces, best was the 4mm Celestron (Vixen) Ortho. That's 433x! At this mag, there was enough turbulence that I has to play the waiting game, but only for the airy disks to pop out of the fuzz, it always split. This is one heluva telescope! The pair piled up on top of each other (E-W) with the upper star appearing slightly larger. (previous best view was with 14mm GRO/LOMO w/TAL 2x Barlow, about 250x.)

84 Vir 5.5,7.9 2.9" 229°

Orange-Yellow pair, easily split.

5 Ser AB 5.1,10.1 11.2" 36° 15h19.3m +1°46'

Pretty pair near M5. I give this NSOG 4* rated pair a 5 because the pair just looks so much like a double!

13 Delta Ser AB 4.2,5.2 4.4" 176° 15h34.8m +10.32

White version of 41 Gamma Leonis on its side!

M5 17.4' m5.7v 15h18.6m +2.5°

Best ever! Like a pile of salt on a black tile. Many, many tiny stars all around the bright core, spread all across the fov of my 16.8mm Ortho. For the first time my 15mm Kellner did *not* come out the winner here. My GRO 20mmSWA did well as well as my 18mm Intes Erfle. Perhaps it was because I resolving individual stars rather than needing to pull out the faint orb of the cluster. NOTE: I am reminded that focus is very, very critical in pulling up the tiny dots. I find that I must focus then stop and wait a bit for my eye to "see" the individual stars. A moto-focus may actually be a handicap here. Note: I had forgotten that M5 was close to 5 Ser. I was looking for 5 Ser. in my GRO finder and saw a blob, it turned out to be M5, reminding me of the first time I saw it in the 60mm finder a year ago!


Found it tonight. Looked like a peach pit or army helmet. I saw no dark band, but was able to make a positive ID via field stars. So the 200K has now equaled the C-9.25 for galaxies and considerably bypassed it on Globular clusters. I'll know for sure when M11 shows. I wanted to wait for it this AM but by 2 I was bushed, having been so long clouded in/winded out that I have lost my "all night" conditioning.

Mars was peeking up above the horizon, but conditions were deteriorating, it was twinkling. I turned in at 2AM.

Wm. "Bill" Brady, Harwood MD 38°51'30"N 76°41'00"W - Clouds - Rain - Clear then WIND!

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