We had a series of clear nights so I decided to take the Meade LX70 Refractor out for its first light. I was going to try to find the Andromeda Galaxy since I had noticed Cassiopeia overhead a couple of nights before.
I setup the refractor and the first issue I had was getting it to point straight up. I started to hit the tripod legs. The next issue was I was looking in the wrong place. I had used a reference in one of my books to do the star hopping to the Andromeda Galaxy but I got disoriented. Once I figure out the region of the sky to be looking that solved by problem of the telescope hitting the tripod legs. I also raised the telescope on it dovetail rail higher.
My next issue was using the finder scope. I was very happy to have purchased the 90 degree model but still didn’t know where I should be looking. So, I decided to just start over with the binoculars and find the galaxy first. It took a while and a lot of misses but finally found the faint fuzzy. With a more precise area of the sky to look at, I just scanned back and forth through the eyepiece and finally found it.
I tried a number of different eyepieces and the wide angle one was the best. I was starting to get cold so really didn’t try of the eyepieces much more. As I was picked things up and noticed that a lot of dew was starting to form. First time experiencing dew.
Overall, it was both a good and bad experience. But, I am still learning so that made the experience worth it.
Tagged: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, LX70
The night was looking clear so started the telescope cool down in the garage. I had also read about the controls on the camera and found the feature to zoom in on the Live View to help with focusing. So tried that and a much better session. However, I am not sure if a dark or light exposure of the moon looks better aesthetically.
Full image located at http://clearskytonight.com/wiki/October_30,_2017
The night before was clear but I forgot to take out the ETX to cool before getting back from walking the dogs. But tonight I took it out during dinner. I connected the Canon after dinner and looked for Saturn. It was in the southwest and was almost behind the tree. I moved the tripod and took some images. I struggled trying to remember the settings on the Canon and accidently erased the memory card. Opps!!
But, I did get images of Saturn and the Moon. I looked at the images on the computer and Saturn was blurry but the moon wasn’t that bad.
Full image located at http://clearskytonight.com/wiki/October_24,_2017
Tagged: Canon, ETX, moon
When I was looking at Saturn, my mind wondered back to an earlier topic which about eyepieces. I had purchased a couple for the ETX but since never really used the telescope, I didn’t get an experience with the differences. I received one eyepiece with the LightBridge, which was the included one, and it seemed like a low magnification. In fact, I don’t even know the right terms for eyepieces other than I think the lower the number, the bigger the object displayed. And now I have a 2” system with the Lightbridge.
So, I started doing some initial research. I searched on Google for article about eyepieces for the LightBridge. I found this article (https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/157413-eyepieces-for-meade-lightbridge/). The article mentioned that 1.25” and 2” each have their own strengths and weaknesses but having both is probably the way to go.
The next article I found interesting was http://www.astronomyforum.net/telescope-eyepieces-forum/124172-eyepieces-meade-lightbridge-12-inch.html. This mentioned a number of possible options and reminded me about using a Barlow. I already have a 1.25” one.
Finally, I read this article http://uncle-rods.blogspot.com/2011/02/getting-set-ii.html. The first thing this article reminded me of was Televue eyepieces. I have seen some articles in the magazines about them so designed to look at them first. Wow, they are expensive. But, in the long term, that is fine once I know exactly what I want. But, also realized that eyepieces aren’t necessary with astrophotography so need to remember that just for visual astronomy. The article also gave a number of combinations that would make a good set, some recommendation on affordable vendors and why 2” eyepieces. Great article.
So, I decided I want to get a few more to try out especially at the August star party I was going to attend. I decided to go with a better quality 1.25” then what I currently have and higher magnification. I purchased a Celestron X-Cel LX 5mm.
I also purchased a Meade Series 4000 set. I had read another article that said all eyepiece sets are not the best purchase because of quality and things you don’t need like filters. But, I am just starting out and really want to figure out some things for my self and having a bunch of choices will be helpful.
I was hoping to get a chance to try out the Lightbridge on Jupiter which was in the west sky. But, a few clouds were always in the way and Jupiter would set below the horizon. But, Saturday night was a clear sky. I tried a couple of eyepieces and was amazed to actually be able to see some of the cloud bands on Jupiter. This got me all excited that the Lightbridge finally amazed me. I tried to get some photos through the eyepiece with my iPhone but it wouldn’t focus. Oh well, more things to research.
Tagged: Jupiter, LightBridge
The eyepiece adapter arrived so decided to try again to see Saturn. The adapter worked fine and Saturn was bigger but still a little disappointing. I figured I should work on collimating next. But, the moon was out so looked at that. Wow, that was very cool to see it up close. I decided to try taking some photos using the iPhone through the eyepiece. Definitely need to do some more research but some images did come out. I posted them on the wiki under observing sessions.
Tagged: LightBridge, Saturn