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Thread: 16" Meade Light Bridge First Light

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    Default 16" Meade Light Bridge First Light

    Got a peek at the Moon on Wednesday night, but I'm considering this the official first light. 1st light.JPGStarted off with the Moon around 22:30, had to wait till this late so the Moon would clear some tress. There was a fair amount of high thin clouds and the Moon was riding low, so not the best viewing setup. With that said, the views were stunning. The strong moonlight was attenuated by its lowness in the sky and the thin clouds. So that meant no moon filter until things got higher up. I’m not going to detail what I, instead, I’ll say that I felt like a young lad in junior high & high school watching the photos & films coming back from the robotic and manned lunar mission. That tight, that sharp (when the air stopped wiggling some). I attached a moon shot done with a hand held iphone in the Moon forum. I was able to push magnification much more than I expected. Very sharp around 70x although the CO was somewhat apparent, but I did not find the CO shadow distracting. Still sharp at ~130x range and not to shabby at 300x+. Even ventured higher, at which point things did noticeably degrade; still good but a fair reduction in detail & contrast.

    After the Moon decided to hide behind the house, I did a bit of random star hopping. With what was in the atmosphere and a bright moon still up, just hiding, there were barely any stars visible. We are talking about Arcturus, Vega, Deneb & Altair. Tried to do some star testing but that was no conclusive based on my inexperience and the atmosphere conditions. My mirrors were well out of collimation so I worked on that earlier before putting the scope out. I think I made some fair improvements in the collimation, but I got a ways to go. I’ve had to do very little on my 8” dob & 8” SCT so I’m not “system qualified”; and then to do a collimation on this beast--WOW.

    About 01:30, the clouds thickened up enough to halt operations. That’s ok, I just went the opposite direction--to the microscope bench. A fine thing about country living is that you always have something interesting & cool to look at with telescopes & microscopes.

    Getting around 03:30 to 04:00 things started to improve but far from even average, still a lot of moonlight. Even with out the moonlight, I’m not sure we would have had even fair seeing. My area is dark enough that I can easily see the Double Cluster, M31 & some of the brightest globular cluster. Conditions improved slowly as the morning moved on. Got on the Double Cluster, good but much light was lost to the atmosphere. Same with M31, but it still took my breath away. I’ve not seen M31 like that in my 8” scope on excellent nights. Spent the rest of the time bouncing between the Double, M31 & the Pleiades.

    Even under these lower quality conditions I was surprised by how well the scoped showed star colors. Most of the time I read that such & such are very red; well I would see red but not much. Now, big difference in the colors.

    The scope moved easily thru it travel axis, although there is a hesitation spot on base I need to investigate. I quick fab’d a shroud which work well. I’ve only been using a dob since this spring when I got a used Orion XT8, so my experience with the “Dob Hole” has been minor. I did get schooled on the dob hole this night. This is more than I have written since I started in these forums, so I’m signing off. More reports and probably lots of questions to come.

    moonshot 2.JPG
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    Meade 16" f/4.5 Light Bridge, Celestron 8" f/10 schmidt cass, 8" Orion dob, Astro 102mm f/11 refractor, LOMO 95mm f/12.5 mak, Celestron 80mm f/5 refractor. Orion 16x80 binocs & smaller binos. EP's from 55mm to 5mm & 2x barlow, plus other goodies.

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    Default Re: 16" Meade Light Bridge First Light

    Thanks for the first report with the Lightbridge. I'm sure you will enjoy the scope.

    Clear Skies!
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    Default Re: 16" Meade Light Bridge First Light

    Hi Kim. A very nice report from you. And, I thought that my 12" Dob was big. It looks like you were able to see a lot of nice nice objects compared to your other telescopes, even with the poor seeing conditions. And, that is a very nice afocal hand held lunar image from you too. Thanks for sharing this fun read first light report with us Kim, and I hope that you get many more observing nights under even better skies with with this new light bucket.
    - Marshall

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