I guess the astronomy gods smiled upon me. My Apertura AD8 telescope wasn't supposed to arrive until the end of October or early November. It arrived this past Friday. I ordered it from Highpoint Scientific and ended up with only a three week wait. I assembled the telescope and collimated it without any problems and aligned the spotting scope. This is my first telescope with significant light gathering capabilities. I had been using my 20 year old Meade ETX 60 with 350mm focal length which produces only 39x with a 9mm eye piece. This is not bad but I wanted something bigger.
Tonight was the first clear night since Friday. I wanted to pass along the highlights of my first light observations.
I live in a small city, bortle 7, with street lights in front on my house. However, I was able to observe the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn using the 30mm and 9mm eye pieces that came with the scope along with a 2x Barlow lens that I purchased separately. I tried eye pieces by themselves and with the Barlow lens. I was able to see more details without the Barlow lens but the Barlow lens definitely made everything bigger in the EP. Thank goodness the telescope came with a 35mm extension tube because I needed this in order to get a focus.
Telescope focal length is 1200mm so using the 30mm EP gives 40x and the 9mm gives 133x without the Barlow lens. The best views for came with using the 9mm EP without the Barlow lens.
For Jupiter, I believe the image in the EP was inverted, I could make out what I believe is the Northern Equatorial Band just below the center of the planet (as seen in the inverted image in the EP). It looked like a fuzzy dark band. I could not make out anymore bands. I saw what I suspect is the GRS, top left portion of the planet at about the ten o'clock position (again, as seen in the inverted image in the EP). It looked like a slightly dark smudge, not very red.
For Saturn, I had no problems seeing the rings however there wasn't much detail. I could see what looked like a faint cloud band just below the rings. I guess it could have been the shadow from the rings; I'm not sure.
The moon looked fantastic. I could see a lot shadow details the various mountains and craters. I could see a little atmospheric distortion at high magnification 266x ( 9mm EP and 2x barlow lens) but the moon was starting to get low in the sky so I was looking through a lot of atmosphere. From my location, the moon was right over a shopping center so there is a lot of light pollution and radiated heat too. But the moon was still pretty bright though. I used the moon filter that came with the telescope.
I have a UHC and polarizing filter on order. They should arrive tomorrow. I have darker skies, bortle 4, about 40 minutes away. I will definitely have to pack up things and head out to darker skies for better observations.
In all my excitement, I forgot to have a look at Mars. I guess I will have to take the telescope out again tomorrow night.
Edited by Quibbley, 21 September 2020 - 10:32 AM.