The day for the conjunction (December 22, 2020) we actually had it snow so no way to see anything. The day of the conjunction was clear so I did a test run using my binoculars. I was able to see both planets in the southwest.
The next day was a clear day so in the afternoon I got the telescope and camera ready. I moved everything outside around 4:00 PM and starting getting everything connected. Unfortunately, I forgot how hard it was to focus on a planet. I finally remembered to focus on a distant land object. So, I was able to get the planets in the camera live view. Also unfortunately, I couldn’t get the focus exact. After about 30 minutes, I was too cold to keep going.
The full image is available at https://clearskytonight.com/wiki/Dec_23,_2020.
I tried three times to capture an image of the comet. The first night I took out the Meade ETX90EC and Canon T3i. Unfortunately, I didn’t put the finderscope back on after storing it. This made it hard to find the comet. I was able to find the comet but couldn’t focus since the live view on the Canon wouldn’t show the comet. Eventually, I just took pictures and checked the focus. I run out of time before the comet set behind some shrubs.
The next night, I setup everything early. Earlier in the day, I had added the finderscope. I was able to find the comet easily but still had the focusing issue. So, I pointed the telescope at a bright star to get the focusing close. I moved back to the comet and start focusing. The electronic focuser broke. So, brought everything inside. I took the focuser apart expecting to find a broken gear. Nothing was broke and put it back together and it all worked. So, I took everything back outside. I tried some more shots before behind the shrub again.
The third night I just took out the camera. I was able to find the comet so starting trying different exposure settings. Then, I tried different focusing and just shot a bunch of images. The best image is on this post.
The full image is available at https://clearskytonight.com/wiki/July_20,_2020.
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 forget exactly where I learned about NightCap Camera. I think in an astronomy magazine. NightCap Camera is an app for the iPhone that helps with low light situation and sounded like a possible solution when using the iPhone and an adapter for astrophotography through an eyepiece on a telescope.
I read through the articles on the NightCap Camera website and identified some things I would like to try once I settle on an iPhone adapter to try.
Specifically, the modes for the moon, star and star trails. It had some options to image galaxy using a telescope but not sure. But, maybe that would work for planets.
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.