Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Finally, a clear night to observe

Last night I actually managed to get to use the telescope.

Conditions weren’t the best, and the trouble with my Dell didn’t help.

I had hibernated the machine and woke it up to check email when it started to blue-screen on me.

Finally, it decided to run CHKDSK on the first hard drive, and that took a while. Eventually, the computer came back fine, and I did a clean shutdown.

I leave the telescope set up in the garage, and just had to attach the counterweight and get it aligned. Unfortunately, the streetlight across the street and the bright carriage lights on a house across the street created a problem, but I managed to see M13 in Hercules and M57 in Lyra. My GOTOs were off, mainly because again I’m too lazy to use my reticle eyepiece and prefer to “eyeball” the center, as well as the fact that I wasn’t precisely polar-aligned.

Eventually, I decided to try it, and centered the mount on Polaris, then did an alignment with two alignment stars and three calibration stars. After that, the GOTOs were nearly spot on.

I used my 32mm eyepiece and got great views of the Ring Nebula (M57), and was even able to see it with the 25mm eyepiece. M13, the great globular cluster, was better the second time because the sky was darker. Next time, I plan on using my 40mm eyepiece.

While I am happy with the telescope and mount’s performance, I am beginning to wonder if maybe it’s time to upgrade. Now that I have a full-time job I am seriously considering moving up to a Celestron C11, an 11-inch SCT, with Celestron’s CGEM DX mount. I’ve read good things about it. It means that a few things I own will be obsolete, but I am thinking I can sell my C8 and its mount after the new telescope arrives.

These plans are up in the air, and a few things need to happen. In the meantime, the C8 is going to get a nice workout, including at Oct. 20’s public star party at Lakewood Ranch.

There’s nothing to settle the mind like a night looking at deep-sky objects.


October 10, 2012 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, Observations with Vinny | , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: