Monday, June 16, 2014

Finally Dragged The Scope Out Saturday Night

We finally are getting some clear nights (although far less than usual).  My sister and her grandson were visiting from Southern California, so I dragged the big scope out across the wonderful new asphalt surface, and set it up.

Ring Nebula (M57): with 17.5" of aperture, you get not just a delicate smoke ring around a star, you actually get color: greenish to me, bluish to my sister.

Saturn was pretty awesome -- the rings are quite a more open than the last time I looked at them.

The Moon was as usual overwhelming as it came up over the mountains.

Two downsides:

1. I did not drag the scope out early enough, and the mirror was still adjusting to the outside temperature.  You could see the slight changes affecting image over time.

2. I either have forgotten how to use the Sky Commander, or something has gone wrong.  I could not get it to switch to show me a list of planets.  (Saturn was a bit fainter than usual, and it took a while to identify the non-twinkler between Antares and Mars as Saturn.)

UPDATE: Yes, re-reading the Sky Commander manual reminded what I was doing wrong.

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