Pinwheel & New Toys

January is annual bonus month, YAY!

I’ve spent mine already, BOO!

I’ve wanted a new scope for a while (I think it’s an addiction that I have, when it’s cloudy I spend my evenings reading equipment reviews and watching YouTube videos on the latest astro gadgets). I decided I’d like something with a bit more focal length, for peering deeper into the cosmos. The Williams Optics scope is a versatile mid-focal length scope, I’ve got some camera lenses I can attach to my astro cameras for wide-field stuff – but what I was after was something with a bit of zoom to go after some of the smaller fuzzies.

Say hello to “Big Chap” – an Askar 130PHQ.

It’s a big 5 inch apochromatic astrograph that delivers 1000mm of focal length. I’ve robbed my beloved SkyWatcher ED80 for parts, and the Askar is now rocking all the automation gizmos I so rely on to take these pictures.

I can safely say this is the biggest refractor I’ll ever own, it’s a BLOODY heavy lump to try and manhandle onto the mount solo, but the EQ6R Pro handles is wonderfully. It’s super sharp, and I’ve been really pleased with it’s performance. I’ve heard that there are issues with the matched reducer that Askar produce for it. but given that I wanted it specifically for it’s focal length that’s not a concern.

This image of The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) was actually the final target of a three-target night, and something I selected in a hurry when I realised my main target for the evening would be disappearing behind next doors fence a few hours after I went to bed!

This is around 5 hours of exposure using LRGB filters and the 533mm Pro camera. Galaxy Season is just around the corner, and I need to get practicing!

As ever, click the image to pixel peep at my lovely round stars 😀