Well, my First Light did not go exceedingly well, but my expectations were pretty low knowing I am a complete newbie and did not know what to expect. Again, thank you to all of you on here who got me to the point of getting the equipment I needed and made me feel a little more educated out there. But, definitely did not impress my wife or kids tonight once I started. haha.
I will definitely research each of these items tomorrow before I give it another shot, but thought I would include the list to see if anyone can commiserate, explain what went awry, what I did wrong, or if some of this is normal. Again, I will search the forums, but thought I would share (honestly, maybe this is to make me feel better after the big fail(s). haha). One note...some of the below might be actual things that 'just are' and I don't know, so be kind with the newbie. haha. I do understand I am not going to see Hubble images or anything, but boy, the below cannot be normal state or scopes would be flying around yards.
- For background, I am using a new Evolution 8. Main eyepieces I used tonight were the 40mm that came with it, the Baader 8-24mm Zoom, the 32mm, and even threw on the Barlow 2x once.
- Did all my terrestrial alignments before going out there and then did the 3 star alignment. That was not perfectly smooth as I struggled with the scope controls on the app, but did get it aligned and was feeling confident.
- No moon tonight, so went after Jupiter as it was the brightest star to start the night.
- First fail...did the GoTo and it scanned over to Jupiter, but it was off. Maybe this is normal, but I found that the GoTo was 'off to the left' on anything I went to making me manually have to fix it, which I worried would then exacerbate the problem as I did GoTo again.
- Second fail...was able to get Jupiter in view with 40mm then switched to Zoom EP. It was shaky as hell. Mount was stable, but Jupiter was jumpy and was a fuzz ball no matter what EP. I honestly did not know what I should turn or anything to smooth it out. It was definitely a sphere and it was Jupiter, but tough to get much more out of it. If it was not so jumpy, I could definitely see some of the color variation, even if very fuzzy. One note...I did have some movement within the Star Diagonal that I fixed later, so not sure if that was it.
- Third fail...the pin hole. I saw comments on this before, but could not find thread. But, on Jupiter, there was a black/blue pin hole dead center in the planet no matter the mm EP or where it moved in the FOV.
- Fourth fail...good news is I was able to image Venus...bad news is that the dreaded pin hole was back again, but this time much bigger...probably 1/10 the size of the planet in view. Also, Venus was bouncing as well.
- Fifth fail...I gave up on the planets and tried Arcturus (not ideal one, but thought a star made sense to just check out). 'Zoomed' in. And I saw 10 concentric circles stacked on top of each other like a target. Went to the manual and it seems I am not collimated, at least that is what it appears as my dark circle is skewed to the left (in the EP). Manual is not the greatest explaining this, but clearly I had issue. So, I tried to follow instructions to de-colliminate which was scary...newbie with a Phillips screwdriver over the lens of this scope in darkness??? Is this what these stars are supposed to look like even if collimated? Why did the manual say you want to see the circles but all aligned? That is good?
- Sixth fail, but maybe Fate...clouds rolled in BIG time and took all views away. Decided to pack up with my tail between my legs and learn what happened, how do I fix things, etc. But probably Fate before I messed up anything with the screwdriver.
Sorry for the long post, but thought the detail would be helpful. Any opinions, insights, jokes, etc are appreciated. Not trying to be too hard on myself, but boy, I wish I had it on video. It would be a hit on YouTube to watch the rookie out there looking like a lost child. haha.
Onward to a better second light.