Saturday, August 05, 2006

Orion 8mm Stratus - First Impressions

I took the scope out last night for a very quick field test of the 8mm Stratus. Seeing was about 2/5, with light cloud cover occassionally affecting my two targets; the Moon and Jupiter.

This eyepiece is great! The views of the moon were quite stunning. As with the other Stratus eyepieces, the wide field of the 8mm gives a wonderful "spacecraft window" type view. The image was crisp and extremely well detailed, even to the edge of the field of view. The 21mm and 13mm have some oddities around the outer 10% of the FOV, but this eyepiece seems to be better in that regard. The lunar landscape really came alive, with ridges, shadows etc all very easily seen.

I then moved onto Jupiter. Even through horrible conditions, the eyepiece highlighted several cloud bands, and all four moons could be seen within the FOV. Despite some haziness, the eyepiece provided a lovely view of the planet.

As usual, I'll put this eyepiece through its paces on the next field trip, and will most likely write up a detailed report of all three eyepieces that I have. For now, though, I think these eyepieces are just the business!

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