January 9, 2020
It's been cold here, for DC standards, and often windy, and the nights have had an annoying tendency to cloud over at short notice. In those conditions, the TV 85 really is ideal. It cools more quickly than some of my eyepieces, it sets up in a matter of minutes, and it consistently provides views that exceed my expectations. It really is a magical little telescope. I have never been anything other than impressed after using it.
The other night, I walked onto the observation deck just as clouds were rolling in from the west - weather forecast be dammed! They moved far more quickly than I thought possible; after I set up my telescope, they had almost reached the Moon and Orion. I had just seconds to take pictures before they arrived. I did catch a short video of the first streamers beginning to race by the Moon. Just a few minutes later, however, I had to pack up. When the windchill is cool enough to numb your fingers, it's always a mixed feeling when you have to walk in earlier than you expected.
Last night, the sky was perfectly clear, but the seeing was mediocre at best and transparency wasn't great either. Still, the Moon was high in the sky, and not quite full, with intricate vistas I haven't often observed coming into view along the retreating terminator. This time, I was driven inside not by wind-blown clouds but by the windchill. Luckily, I've become quite good at realizing when my fingers are in trouble.
Still, with temperatures at around -1° C before the windchill, the TV 85 gave me some spectacular views in no time. And although some complain that TeleVue telescopes reveal just a bit more false color than, say, Takahashi telescopes, I see no difference between the TV 85 and my FC-100DC. At the limb of the Moon, with the telescope acclimated, there is absolutely no false color. The divide between the brilliant lunar surface and the inky blackness of space is absolute.
Not the best observing nights, but the combination of the Moon and the TV85 never fails to please.
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