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Thread: First light

  1. #1
    cmh's Avatar
    cmh
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    Default First light



    Had my new (to me) C8 out for its first and my very first observing session last night. I had low expectations being that it was partly cloudy and I'm in the city with a fairly small field of view from my yard.

    I set up the scope before dark just roughly aligning the equitorial mount to north. I assumed the wedge was tilted up at about the correct angle as I bought the scope used from someone in the same town as me. This worked out just fine as I was able to track everything with the RA knob and very little adjustment to declination.

    A bit after dark, I went out and Orion is up there right in front of me. Perfect - I'll look for M42. In a minute or two I had it centered in the finderscope, look through the main EP and nothing... hmm turn knobs back and forth a bit and still black. Then I removed the lens cap. Look again and still see more or less a black image, so I'm fiddling with the focus for a minute moving way in and out with no luck. I lifted my head to look at the location and it was completely shrouded in clouds. Doh!

    A brief look around and there is Castor and Pollux high in the sky. I remember Pollux being a double, so I swing over and get Pollux in view. A bit of fiddling and I got I found it in the EP. Switch EPs to up the magnification, and get it in focus and I still see one star. Hmm, maybe I just cant resolve it. So I pop in the house and look it up - oops Castor is the one that is a double. Back outside, find Castor, switch to my 12.5mm EP (160x mag, I think) and Yahoo!! I split my first double. Cool! I note that I do see some artifacts of what I think are poor collimation at this magnification. Each star of the double looks more or less like a badmitton birdie, and as I defocus, the middle of the 'donut' is off to one edge. After a bit of staring and pulling my kids out of the house to look, the clouds roll over Castor.

    Looking around I see that it has cleared up towards the NE and the big dipper is fully in view. I run inside and look it up to find that Mizar is a double/double with Alcor. I find that and sure enough, it looks just like the image on the internet with Mirax. Another good one.

    Orion is now out of the clouds, so I swing around and find M42. Absolutely beautiful - I can make out the trapezium in the middle and quite a bit of detail in the nebula. Dragged the kids out of the house to see this one as well.

    Finally around 10:30pm Saturn rose into my field of veiw and was beautiful in the scope. No detail on the planet itself, but it was all there with rings and Titan and Rhea as well. (I could see Rhea only with averted vision). I tried out the 2x-3x barlow with 12.5mm eyepiece bringing it to 320x - 480x and it was pretty much unusable - I'll try again in a darker location. The smaller/sharper image at 160x was preferable.

    All in all, a great first night out, way exceeding my expectations.

    Looking forward to tonight.

    Cheers,
    cmh

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Congrats on a great 1st light (after you removed the lens cap! )

    Here's wishing you many more to come.
    Gordon
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    All in all, a great first night out
    And a great First Light report!

    Congrats and Cheers,
    Vim
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    Default

    Excellent
    It does sound like your secondary could do with a tweak - to get rid of the shuttlecock effect!
    put the donut in the middle of your field of view and adjust the screws on the secondary. As the donut become more concentric, re centre it as it will move to the edge. Be a bit flamboyant with the first movement and you'll see which way it is going! if you do it in tiny increments at the start, you'll never work it out!
    Best of luck
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    Default

    I'm nervous about any collimation adjustments. I don't even know what screws move the secondary (although I suppose it tells me in the manual?). Also, these screws haven't been adjusted in ~30yrs. They could be frozen, I could break one off ... who knows. But I'll dig into the manual and see what it says.

    Thanks.
    cmh

 

 

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