First Light

June 02 2010
Took the mount and scope out to the patio in separate pieces for ease of movement at about 8:00 so it could cool. About 10:00 I the sky was dark enough to polar align using the information provided by my Synscan handset.
After polar aligning I then attached the scope and counterweights and balance. Full balance of the scope cannot be achieved yet as I do not have enough weights but for now this will suffice. Attaching the scope was a job requiring some assistance but hopefully this will get easier once I know what Im doing.
After this a 1 star alignment was easily undertaken using Arcturus as the reference star. The scope moved to within a few degrees of centre and after centering the target was confirmed as successful.
Tonight the following are on the list, bearing in mind I live just outside the city of Bristol and my Northern horizon does suffer from the glow of streetlights:
  • Cigar Galaxy (M82) - observed as a feint smudge, but clearly cigar shaped;
  • Bodes Galaxy (M81) - again observed as a feint smudge;
  • Saturn - wow, this just blew me away. I have seen Saturn before but with a very poor scope and this blew me away but the view last night was superb. I Started with the 32mm eyepiece (38x mag) to centre then switched to the 9mm eyepiece 133x mag). I could clearly see the rings and 4 moons. I then decided to push the limit by adding a 2x barlow (267x mag) and whilst the view wasnt perfect, I could still make out a lot of detail. The view through the 9mm eyepiece was great allowing a lot of detail to be resolved.
  • Great Cluster in Hercules (M13) - managed to eventually resolve a decent level of detail with the 9mm eyepiece and 2x barlow.
All in all Im very pleased with my purchase, it was easy to set up, physically, once manoeuvred into place in its separate pieces. Once all the data was entered into the Synscan controler alignment and navigation was spot on with the scope find the objects and placing them near damn centre.

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