On 9/7/00 the skies finally cleared and I decided to try out the club's
new 10" lx200 and STV camera. This was the third time I had set up the lx200
and it's getting easier to do. I had the scope setup and 2-star alignment
done in 15 minutes. Next was my first attempt to image with the STV camera.
The good news is using the high precision function the lx200 will put
objects on the chip-just as advertised. The high precision function works by
going to a bright star near your goto object. You then center it in the
finder scope and it should also be on the STV screen. While on this star I
found it helpful to focus it to the smallest point. Next hit goto and your
object will be on the screen. This worked for all the M objects I looked at
this night. The HP function won't work for planets but you can center the
bright ones in the finder to get them on the chip.
The STV has a lot of settings and functions and I have just started to
learn how to use them. The images I got tonight were captured in the
continuous mode at various exposure times. The planets were imaged 20 to 30
degrees above the horizon and were hard to bring to a sharp focus. M27 and
M57 are under exposed but adding exposure time led to loss of detail.
Learning more about the system should improve the image quality. You can see
the images at http://www.delmarvastargazers.org/stvpix9-7-00/
We have started work on equipment checkout lists and procedures so other
members can borrow the lx200 and STV. If you are interested in this project
or want to use the equipment contact Don, Lyle or myself.