The day started out with a lot of clouds so I didn’t think would get a chance to see the eclipse. But, the clouds moved out right before the start. I setup my Meade ETX90EC and connected my Canon T3i. I was a little out of practice so didn’t get the best focus or exposure but it was a great sight to see with the naked eye.
The full image are available at https://clearskytonight.com/wiki/Jan_20,_2019.
I spent some time with both the Carson Hookupz 2.0 and Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone adapters on my Meade ETX90EC. I wanted to test them inside before trying outside because I had issues focusing and zooming in. The major issue I had the first time I tried was the iPhone case I use. Once I took it off, the smartphone adapters worked much better. I will try them outside next.
I created an article called Smartphone Adapters with more information comparing these two smartphone adapters for telescopes.
I purchased the Meade LX70 Polar Scope for my LX70 telescope mount a while back. I previously created a blog post about the initial installation. The next step was the follow the instructions to align it. The manual first mentioned to point the mount at a distant terrestrial object during the daytime. I found this confusing since the mount points up. I decided to interpret this as something higher then where I was as there was nothing in the distance that was high. I selected the roof of the next door house. I then rotate the mount the 180 degrees as mentioned and the object I was pointing at moved a great distance.
So, I went to adjust the reticle adjustment screws. The first problem was finding the right size allen wrench. I went through my telescope parts and found it. The process is to tighten or loosen three screws. I tried but didn’t seem to make much difference. I keep trying and got worried I might be striping the screws. The manual warned not to do too much. It also warned that if you loosen to much it might fall in. Of course, as I got more and more frustrated, I did just that.
I unscrewed the polar scope and started looking at it. I realized the long end would unscrew and did that. I tilted it up and out came the screw. I also realized the other end would unscrew as it was for focusing. Once everything was apart, I found a better idea of how it worked. It appeared the part of the polar that had the image of the North Star wasn’t being held in place by the screws. I positioned it and tightly all three screws. I checked the alignment and better. I did one adjusted and still not correct but decided to just let go. I would try to align at night with the motor drive and then see the real affect on something like the moon or a planet.
When doing visual observing at a telescope, I find myself wishing I could record the image. I know some people sketch but sketching isn’t for me. Astrophotography with a connected DSLR or dedicated camera is great but that isn’t visual observing. So, I have been very interested in the concept of afocal astrophotography. I earlier got an adapter for an old point-and-shot camera but was a lot of work to get the camera positioned and then figure out all the controls. Again, I could use the DSLR. But, then I found an article about using a smartphone. So, I purchased a couple of adapters which sat gathering dust. But, going to make it a goal to figure out afocal photography using a smartphone.
I first step was to do some researching on the Internet. A number of article I found are below. Here are my takeaways:
- Smartphones can take adequate images through the eyepieces. This is partial due to the increasing technology in each new smartphone model.
- An adapter is necessary to hold the smartphone steady over the eyepiece.
- Something is necessary to take the picture to avoid movement
- Dedicated apps will probably help with the process but curious how the native camera controls do.
The next step will be to re-review the two adapters I have.