We created a Saturn Visual Astronomy Calculator.
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.
For this observing session, I extended the tripod legs to make sure I wouldn’t have the issue with the finderscope being difficult to look through when the telescope was pointed vertically. The AutoStar alignment went the same but with a different second star. This time I had come prepared with a couple of targets. Earlier in the day, I had referred to the Left Turn at Orion book. This book was very useful because it listed targets for the time of year and seeing conditions. I like the book because it had sketches of what the target would look like in binoculars, a small 3“ telescope and a large Dobsonian telescope. The first target was the Great Globular Cluster (M13)
But, before I looked for M13, I remembered reading that Saturn was out earlier in the night. So, I put that into the AutoStar and off it slewed. It was near the horizon in the southwest. The moon was setting and had an orange tint. Saturn was hard to make out. I tried different eyepieces but nothing looked that good. But, then I remembered that object near the horizon would be unstable due to air conditions. So, I left it.
I entered M13 in the AutoStar and off it slewed. I had to do some moving around but the “faint fuzzy” did appear. Admittedly, it wasn’t a great view but I am happy to finally be seeing something in the ETX.
I next tried to find a galaxy listed in Left Turn at Orion but I didn’t have much luck. I was starting to think made the light pollution was having an effect but also the alignment didn’t seem to be correct. I would pick a star in the Big Dipper and it would be way off in the eyepiece and finderscope. So, I planned to spend more time on trying to get a better alignment the next night.