Finally got in some eyepiece time on Sunday night, actually early Monday as I set up at 12:05AM. I'd been checking the sky every hour and watching the clear spots grow in size. By midnight there was enough clear sky to make it worth setting up my Stellarvue 80mm on its alt-azimuth mount. The setup took just a few minutes and I was sweeping Lyra with a 23mm EP. I found M57 without difficult even in my light polluted sky here in New Bedford. The Moon was not an issue tonight as it was well to my west and hidden by a tree.
The Ring Nebular is described as magnitude 8.8 in Messier Marathon by Don Machholz. The size is given as 2' in diameter. I wanted to try out some filters I have to see if the view could be improved. After some reading I decided to try my Meade Broadband filter first. I tried four different EPs, a 23mm ER, 16mm ER, 12.5 OR and my Televue 11mm Plossl. Each view was made without the filter in place and then viewed again with the filter in place. In my 80mm telescope the view was nice but not spectacular. Even with the 11mm Plossl the magnification was only 43.6x. The dark core of the Ring was enhanced but not by much. I understand that nebular filters like the Meade 4000 series work best in a dark sky. I don't have a dark sky so perhaps the views would have been better had I set up at a friend's house out in Rochester. No street lights out there and no porch lights. It's worth trying some night.
Next up, my Meade Narrowband filter. Same deal, each EP was used without the filter in place and then another view with the filter. The view with the filter was darker but the image had more contrast. I know the image would be better with more aperture but with the sky as unpredictable as it was I didn't want to set up the 5-inch refractor or my 10-inch SCT. That's for another night.
I spent about 30 minutes viewing M57 before moving on to a very nice double star, Albireo, in Cygnus. This is a beautiful pair, yellow and blue, when viewed with the 11mm Televue. Both stars were pinpoints of light as they should be. I switched out the 11mm and popped in my 23mm. Nice FOV with this EP and I was about to move on to the Dumbbell Nebular but took one last look at Albiero. At 12:56AM a satellite passed through the FOV traveling south to north. Right place at the right time. I've had a lot of luck seeing satellites when I'm viewing to my east.
I went inside to make some quick notes about my observations. I was outside again at 1:05 AM and the sky was completely clouded over. I felt cheated! However, I did get in nearly one hour of viewing and spent that time on just two objects, M57 and Albireo. Some nights are better than others. Considering the crappy weather the last few days I'll take the one hour.