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Gaining some experience

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#1 hudder


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Posted 25 July 2005 - 10:38 AM

In a previous post I stated that I had one heck of a climb up a steep learning curve to go before I could really use my newly purchased C8-SGT. Well, I think I have started to make progress.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that power is very important. On Saturday night I set up my scope and plugged it into the Power tank battery that I got with the scope. Once I turned on the scope I noticed that the hand controller was a bit dim, but I didn't think anything of it. It was quite bright out with my neighbours maximum security lighting and the moon.

Anyways, I got absolutely nothing done. Between the motors stopping during the star alignment stage and slews that started out of nowhere, I finally figured out that the powertank was low on charge. Packed everything up and went inside.

Last night I went back out after charging the powertank for most of the day. This time things went very well. I think I have the star alignment procedure down. It took only one try this time which was nice. I tried again to look at M13 and M92. Again things were quite faint and it was hard to resolve most of the brighter stars.

One of the previous responders to my posts mentioned I need to collimate the scope. I knew I had to do this but I was somewhat afraid to do it, but I guess it needed to be done. I had installed Bob's Knobs the other day, probably throwing the alignment out of whach. Once I started the collimation at 100x I saw that it was.

Seeing was actually quite good last night. I collimated on Arcturas in Bootes. I first did the rough collimation and moved the secondary into the centre. I then moved up to 200x and moved the diffraction rings so they were concentric. I then moved up to 400x and repeated. I tried to do an infocus collimation, but the seeing was just too poor for that. But I think I made it as good as it could get.

Since the light pollution is just too bad in my area, I settled for looking at some double stars. I mostly looked around Bootes and saw some nice colours (XI Bootes was quite nice). I've made a list of doubles to look for including the Double Double (I hear it is quite nice) and Alpha Herculi, which I hear has some really nice colours. Unfortunately my trees block most of my view to the east, so I am limited to viewing things in the west.

Any other suggestions?

Anyways, things are progressing. I can't wait to get to a dark spot and revisit some of the DSO's I've been able to see (M13, M57, other globulars). I think the scope is really good, but the light pollution is really killing its abilities.


#2 garyc11



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Posted 25 July 2005 - 04:17 PM

if you have a view of the south antares is a cool star to look at that area of the sky around sagittarius and scorpius has many cool things to look at.

#3 Joel



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Posted 25 July 2005 - 05:36 PM

Mike, I'm in NH and surrounded by trees as well. I have to stay pretty high in the sky to see alot. Mars is starting to get high in the sky and brighter so that will be a target for me to try to see and photograph over the next couple months. I try to look at my planetarium programs, Autostar and the Sky before I go out and pick an area to focus on or just use the laptop outside and pic targets of opportunity. Enjoy your scope!

#4 ForgottenMObject



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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:49 AM

High up in the north are some open clusters in Ophiuchus, such as: NGC 6633, IC 4665 (near Beta Ophiuchus), and IC 4756.

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