I went to the Meyer Observatory last night to learn a bit about the operation of the 24-inch telescope. Unfortunately, the camera shutter wasn't working. While it was being fixed, I sneaked out and pulled out my 8" F/4 telescope, which I brought along. I had a rather nice and very fast session under really dark skies--about 20-25 minutes. Actually, my first impression of the skies was that it was cloudy and the clouds were lit up by city lights. In particular, Sagittarius looked really clouded over. What an embarrassing mistake! The clouds were clouds of stars--the Milky Way! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my 30mm 1.25" eyepiece, and the scope only has a 1.25" focuser, so I was stuck with a 13mm, which rather took away the scope's wide-field advantages.
I started with M13, which resolved fairly well, but not as well as in my 13" from brighter sites, though I had a hard time finding Hercules--too many stars in the sky! I had a nice look at M51. It had its companion visible, and there definitely was a connection between them. I got a vague hint of spiralness.
M57 was a nice little donut. Better than I expected from this very fast scope with a damaged mirror. I then tried to find M20 and M8. While trying to point to M20, I hit M8, which was very nice. In fact, M8 was naked-eye, with a nice dark lane down the middle. M20 was a little ways up. I don't think I saw all of its three dark lanes, but I did get an impression of at least two. I tried for the American Nebula at some point, with no luck, because the field of view was too small. And I also tried for the Veil Nebula, and did in fact get a nice line, which may have been the broomstick, but it was hard to tell--the image wasn't as sharp as when I used my 13".
Still, it was a very nice session squeezed in a short amount of time. I rather like a scope that weighs less than 17lbs. I am looking forward to taking the travel scope by plane to Canada.