I’m still learning my way around the sky- a “go-to” scope sometimes makes it too easy. Tonight looked promising, so started with binoculars. Having located the “W” of Cassiopeia, I drew a line down from the right-hand “V” to the star, Mirach in Andromeda. About a quarter of the way up and slightly to the right of that line was the fuzzy lenticular glow of the Andromeda galaxy.
Encouraged by my success, I dashed into the house to get my scope, tripod and power pack – by the time it was all set up it was cloudy again!
Still, I was keen to try out a Vixen VLW 22mm versus a Baader Hyperion 24mm eyepiece (both in 2″ mode). So I played chase the star between the clouds. On paper, the Vixen should be better, but I have found the Vixen slightly awkward to use until tonight when I rolled down the rubber eyecup and ditched my glasses- after that it was just as comfortable as the Baader for my eyes. Things looked slightly brighter through the Vixen (better light transmission) – I thought there was a little more chromatic aberration with the Vixen -until I ditched my glasses again when the aberration disappeared. The field of view looked much the same in both.
Overall, I thought the Vixen was slightly sharper and brighter than the Hyperion and I have finally found a comfortable position to use it. No new objects tonight but I can find my way to Andromeda!