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Thread: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

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    Default NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris



    My power tank hadn’t been used in almost a year, so now was the time to get it recharged and do some GOTO observing with my NexStar mount on this clear night. I was also inspired by Jim’s (Juno 16) report with the NexStar 130 SLT. Instead of the Celestron 102/1000mm ‘frac it originally came with, I attached the Meade Polaris 70/900mm OTA on it:



    This NexStar mount is an older version – does not have an on/off switch (the power goes on when you plug in the battery or power tank), nor does it have an auxiliary port.

    Here are the objects I saw:

    Double Stars – I chose stars that were available from the NexStar double star menu; blazed through these at 100x:
    1. 145 CMa
    2. Eta Puppis
    3. Kappa Puppis
    4. 38 Gemini – companion much fainter
    5. Theta 2 Cancri
    6. Iota Cancer

    Open clusters:
    1. M42 (Ori) – can see all 4 stars of the Trapezium at 28x
    2. M41 (CMa) – nice at 28x
    3. NGC 2362 (CMa) – nice at 100x
    4. NGC 2360 (CMa) – very nice at 51x,
    5. NGC 2244 (Mon) – nice cluster; could not see the Rosette Nebula with a narrowband at 28x or OIII at 35x
    6. NGC 2301 (Mon) – just able to see at 100x as a faint haze
    7. M44 (Cnc) – fills the whole field at 28x; very bright
    8. M67 (Cnc) – needed 100x to resolve the cloud haze into stars

    Overall, this was a nice introduction to what a 70mm F/12.9 ‘frac can show in urban Bortle 8.5 skies – I was very pleased. Half of these targets I’d only seen outside the city many years ago, so it was the first time from more light-polluted conditions.

    This was fun. I should be using GOTO more often, at least for casual observing.
    Terry
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Scopes: Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ, Meade Polaris 114EQ, Orion Starblast 4.5EQ, Orion Short Tube 80A, and a whole bunch of others that get very little or no usage.

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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Sounds like a great session Terry. Some nice clusters and doubles in the report, just makes me want to get out again, but it will be a few days before there is a clearing trend so I am shutdown for now.
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    Michael
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Great session Terry
    Your going to need to make a pier for that mount if using the long refractors!
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Great session and superb example of the amazing performance of a smaller refractor.
    Thanks!
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Nice session Terry! GoTo is definitely a blessing for the light-polluted skies. I went the other way yesterday and did the whole session with 15x70 binos.

    I had a few more targets in Monoceros, but had to give up - there were no stars visible to star hop.
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Sounds like fun, Terry!

    Still tempted to pick up one of those OTAs.
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Quote Originally Posted by helicon64 View Post
    Sounds like a great session Terry. Some nice clusters and doubles in the report, just makes me want to get out again, but it will be a few days before there is a clearing trend so I am shutdown for now.
    Yup, it was fun Michael! Especially when your GOTO is working...

    Had some problems with it not long after I started using it back in late 2012, so I stopped using it for 6 yrs. Hadn't recharged the Celestron Power Tank in all that time, so the battery was virtually dead by the time I used it again in 2018 and so had to buy a new one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Great session Terry
    Your going to need to make a pier for that mount if using the long refractors!
    Thanks Gabrielle!

    Actually with the Nexstar GOTO tripod and having the OTA pushed slightly forward, I can look through the EP with the scope pointed at the zenith and be comfortably sitting on my folding chair. It's when I use my manual alt-az or EQ mounts that I'm forced to sit on the ground when the scope is pointed at the zenith.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Baars View Post
    Great session and superb example of the amazing performance of a smaller refractor.
    Thanks!
    Thanks John! The scope did well under average transparency conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Nice session Terry! GoTo is definitely a blessing for the light-polluted skies. I went the other way yesterday and did the whole session with 15x70 binos.

    I had a few more targets in Monoceros, but had to give up - there were no stars visible to star hop.
    Thanks Andrey! It was great using the GOTO for this type of casual observing, especially from my home skies. When using manual mounts, I've started using my binos to seek out guide stars for my telescope to star hop with.

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Sounds like fun, Terry!

    Still tempted to pick up one of those OTAs.
    Yup, it was fun Bryan! The long focal length of this 70mm scope is nice - the blue color on this scope is pretty. Matches my Meade Polaris 114. Had thoughts about getting a long focal length 80mm 'frac, but I already have a 90/1000mm (F/11.1) 'frac.
    Last edited by terrynak; 03-26-2019 at 05:32 AM.
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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Scopes: Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ, Meade Polaris 114EQ, Orion Starblast 4.5EQ, Orion Short Tube 80A, and a whole bunch of others that get very little or no usage.

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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Average transparency on Monday night, so I brought out my Meade Polaris 70mm mounted on the Nexstar again:



    Again, this is an older Nexstar mount which I bought in 2012 (Nexstar 102GT). No on/off switch and no auxiliary port:



    Targets:

    M36 - loose & scattered, fairly easy to see at 28x.
    M37 - very hard to pick up at 28x, almost invisible. Easier at 51x and 100x.
    M38 - two bright guide stars make it easier to spot the haze at 28x.

    By the time I looked up again after M38, the transparency turned poor, with haziness overhead around Auriga. Need to try these 3 OCs again on a more transparent night.

    Mars - could see a tiny disk at 150x; slightly gibbous phase.
    Algeiba (Gamma Leonis) - beautiful Airy disk pair at 150x.

    Looking forward to better skies later in the week.
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    I'm just getting my NextStar 130 GT running again after a LONG time down. Had to get a new handset off Ebay to get mine to work. Nice to see another GT mount user out there!
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    Default Re: NexStar GOTO session with the 70mm Meade Polaris

    Quote Originally Posted by Afterburner1 View Post
    I'm just getting my NextStar 130 GT running again after a LONG time down. Had to get a new handset off Ebay to get mine to work. Nice to see another GT mount user out there!
    One reason I stopped using the Nexstar for so long was because I suspected a faulty handset with a weak connecting pin - after a few sessions of working fine, all of a sudden the power would go off after some time and I would have to start all over again. Got frustrated.

    When I tried using it again after all those years, this was no longer an issue - the handset works fine wherever the scope is slewed to. Still need to be careful that you don't accidentally disrupt the power source from the handset, which needs to be handled gently.
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