Observing Night – Sept 10, 2013

My goal for this night was to work on the precision of my alignment using the AutoStar on the Meade ETX-90EC.  I decided to try a higher powered eyepiece so the center would be a smaller area.  I did the first star and took extra time to center it.  I did the next star and again, took extra time to center it.  As an idea, I went back to the first star using the GOTO and it wasn’t centered.  I had read in the manual that you could sync the object to help on the alignment so I tried that.  I then went back to the second start.  Since this was vertical in the sky, the finderscope was really a pain.  I centered and synced and then went back to the first star.  It wasn’t in the centered again.  This was really getting frustrating and made me think it was one of the problem in finding a galaxy.  I was sure the margin of error couldn’t be that much and I wouldn’t be able to see a galaxy.

My quit time was approaching so I decided to look for a galaxy using the start hopping method.  I looked for a possible galaxy from the Left Turn at Orion book.  I found the originating stars in the finderscope and then moved to the location of the galaxy but saw nothing.  I was getting a more frustrated.  I sat down in the patio chair and did a little thinking.  My first thought was the galaxy was in the northern sky which was also in the direction of Seattle so maybe it was a light pollution issue.  The next was maybe I was missing something in the alignment process that I should research further.  This was my third night out and was getting a little burned out from the lack of relaxing nights after work.

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