100x25 binocular killed the Pronto

by Julius Szakacs

Just came back from a camping trip, stayed at the Sunset campground, at Crystal Lake Basin recreation, 20 miles West from Lake Tahoe, off high way 50.

Very nice place, quiet, dark, 5000 ft high, just what an amateur astronomer wants. My camp site had a good view to W and NW, to the Big Dipper area. I didn't tried to go to a more open area, because it was only me, the bears and mountain lions there. Being week days, very few campers showed up.

I took the TV Pronto and my 100x25 Apogees binocular with me. I started observing with the Pronto, but later picking up the 100mm bino, found out the Pronto was just no match to the 100 mm bino on DSO, plus looking with two eyes is all ways my favorite.

Here are just some of the few objects, observed through the big bino. Big Dipper was hanging low, just above the horizon.

M51 was easy for this big bino, showed the double galaxies full, not just two dots. M81/82 is great, able to see the face on and the cigar shaped galaxies, showed some structure also. Very bright.

Moving over to M108 and the Owl nebula, they fit into one field, kind of faint, but easy to spot.

Moving to left, found M109, also faint. Let's see if I can find this illusive faintish galaxy M101/102. Ye, it came in, very faint. Kind of a big round shape fog. The binos, all most 3 deg field is fun, easy to find DSO-s. With two eyes I can just stare, without my eye getting tired. Feels like I'm out there.

Moving down, below M51, M63 Sunflower galaxy, shows as a smudge, also M94, bit larger smudge.

I had a hard time to find them with the Pronto.

Way above is Hercules, M13 GC is very bright, 100mm aperture only resolves the outside stars, looks like a big round, bright smudge. All most blinding. Not far away, M92 GC is the same, bit smaller.

Let's see, if I can split some wide doubles. Mizar split nice, not as sharp as the Pronto, but able to see the tighter double Mizar and Zeta UM. Moving to Cor Caroli, tight but able to split it. Not bad for a $300 bino. I have to get a parallelogram mount for this big bino, so I don't have to break my neck, when I'm observing at or around the Zenith.

Through, my camping trip, observed many meteorites, there was a big one, left a huge vapor trail for a few seconds. It was moving from NW to SE, on Wednesday, midnight. WOW!

Also, seen many satellite,cruising through the sky, easy to follow them with the big bino.

Thursday started to rain, had to come home.