First (non-cloudy, non-smokey) Light
- Well, after about 2 weeks, I finally got out on a clear night
with "The Water Heater", my new Starhunter 10" Dob. Of course, by
the time I got out after trick or treating, putting kids to bed,
etc., it was Midnight, and 6 degrees out. Just went out in my back
Mostly just "surfed" willy nilly around the sky. REALLY wanted to
see M22 (which was my first deep sky object, in Binos), but it had
already set. My Western view is obscured by mountains. I tried to
keep to the 25mm eyepiece, with the occasional barlowe, but did give
in to the 9mm temptation once or twice. The scope performed well,
alt. & az. both moved very smoothly (Course I have no reference to
compare this to) and the focuser was only slightly more sluggish, I
assume due to the temp. Stars were not the same when I racked out of
focus one way then the other. Sign of incorrect collimation,
astigmatism, or both? I have not collimated the thing yet, for fear
I will screw it up & not be able to see ANYthing. I want to get a
couple good nights in before I do that. I have not performed the
standard "Skyquest&clone" recommended mods yet for the same reason
Jupiter and its moons were better than I had ever seen, and I could
for the first time make out the 2 darkest bands (equatorial belts?).
Saturn- saw the Cassini division, very nice!!
The crowning moment of the evening (morning) was M42. I know we talk
about how you should not expect to see in the eyepiece what you see
in a photograph, but WOW!!.. It really knocked my proverbial socks
off. I had to slew away & back to make sure I was seeing what I was
seeing. Came back to it several times tonight.
Actually had frost forming on the tube, finderscope, etc, but did not
appear to be on primary.
Tried the Telrad between the focuser and the Finder scope. Removed
it. Have to see if I can find a better place for it. I fog the darn
thing up with my breath every time I look in the Finder.
I use a little Mag Lite w/ a red magic markered plastic disc over the
lens for my "astronomy" flashlight. I have a headband that will hold
the light, so hands are free. However, I don't use it very often, so
I quite often hold the light in my mouth so I can see what my hands
are doing. At 6 degrees, the little METAL flashlight sticks quite
efficiently to lip & tongue. Go figure,
So, despite the slightly sore tongue & still chilly feet, hands, etc,
this was a darn neat night. I love this scope, and cant wait to get
it out away from town. Thanks for enduring my rambling.
> AAUGHG!! What do I do about condensation on the mirrors when ICheck the archives, since I'm pretty sure this has been discussed.
> bring the scope inside after 6 degree viewing????
But there are basically two schools of thought on this:
1) Cover the scope when you're outside, so that it is insulated from
the warm, moist inside air. This will keep it (mostly) from
2) Keep it uncapped until the condensation has dried, then cap it.
I favor #1 but I'm never entirely sure that capping it is indeed
keeping condensation from forming.