First Light on New Scope 190 Mac Newt

by on , under Astronomy Blog

After lots of deliberation and reading reviews, I finally decided to buy a new telescope.
The Skywatcher 190 Makzutov Newtonian seemed to fit most of my requirements.
Its a great imaging setup, but optically excellent to enable high magnification for lunar and planetary imaging as well.

It was delivered yesterday after ordering on Friday from Green Witch Telescopes.
Thanks Lee for arranging the very prompt delivery.

The box as usual looked much bigger when it arrived than I expected.

It really does look the business.
When unpacked it was sporting a very stylish metallic black livery and white mounting rings.
Focuser is dual speed, that will help enormously, and is really smooth as well.
It is designed for photography, but there is an extension tube which can be pulled out of the focuser so you can reach focus visually. The finder was a right angled one, which I thought would be pain to use.

Despite the rising Moon that night, I took the beast out for its first light as soon as it got nearly dark.

A clear night when you have just purchased a new cloud magnet? That doesn’t happen very often.
I didn’t check the collimation at all, just used it straight out of the box, slotted it straight onto the EQ6 head and I was away.

The sky wasn’t quite dark, so my first target was the double-double in Lyra.

Seeing was a little jumpy, but both component in each double was easily visible within its own distinct and almost perfect Airy disk in a 10mm eyepiece.
Cracking up the magnification the 5mm eyepiece really separated them and there was quite a lot of space between each star.

Even using a 2x Barlow the Airy disks were very pronounced despite the wobbly seeing, and even more space visible between the stars. The image really hadn’t degraded as much as I expected as the magnification racked up.

My next stop was Albireo which looked wonderful with its contrasting coloured stars as always.

The sky was getting properly dark now, but the rising gibbous Moons glow could be seen behind my neighbours house.
Popping across the Hercules, I could see M13 shining through the bright glow as the Moon rose in the east, but the sky wasn’t really dark enough for real deep sky observing .

The field of view looked very wide.

Had I made a mistake in buying this scope as I also wanted to do some planetary and lunar stuff with this scope as well as deep sky imaging? The reviews I read did tell me it is capable of very decent planetary images, so I was keeping an open mind for now.

Visually, I was very pleased with my views so far, so here’s the real test.
Popping my camera on I tried a 15 second shot of Vega to see how good the collimation was out of the box

This much zoomed in and much reduced shot shows the result:

(Even with this short exposure, and the Moonlight it captured stars fainter than 15th Magnitude).
Those who a bit pernickety could say that the collimation might just be a smidge off, but would I be able to improve on it by tampering?  Probably not.

I then took a few 30 second subs of a couple of objects.
Thin contrails were interfering, so had to dodge those picking clear patches of sky with objects in them.

So here’s the results, all unguided and no light pollution filters were used.
They all need a lot more time, and I did the minimum of processing, but as test shots they really show a lot of promise.

Owl Cluster (5 subs).

M13 – (9 Subs) What a wide field of view!

Full resolution close up crop of cluster itself.

Just a 2x 30 second shot revealed part of The Veil. (I’m totally knocked out considering how bright the sky was).

And to finish, as I wanted to see what planetary stuff might be like, I had a quick go at the Moon.
It was partially behind a thick contrail and just above my neighbours house.
Seeing was extremely wobbly.

Visually the view through my 5mm eyepiece gave absolutely cracking views of the area around Mare Crisium and the southern highlands.

The craters close to the walls, were casting long thin shadow spikes across the mare.

You can just about see one of them above.
You could see the elongation of crater Messier A, and the Rimae within the crater Janssen really stood out well.
Despite the Moon’s low altitude and seeing the this beat any view through both my 8” and 10” Newtonians hands down.


So, I am now convinced that used with a webcam (or another camera) with the 5x Powermate will enable me to produce some fantastic planetary and lunar images.

So as you can imagine, I’m well chuffed with my purchase.
I think I am going to have so much fun with this scope.

And, Hey there’s no annoying spikes.

A very happy Dave.


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