Time for the Moon

June 16 2010
Tonight I am aiming to get my first glimpses of the moon and maybe even taking a shot or too. Before hand I had a brain wave to resolve my balance issue. I have an old EQ1-2 mount somewhere with a weight which I can use to save me buying an additional weight. I manage to dig out the mount and strip it of the countershaft and weight and as it turns out the diameter of the weight means it wont fit the EQ6 shaft. However the shaft from the EQ1-2 has the same thread diameter as the EQ6 shaft and therefore acts as a counterweight shaft extension bar thus allowing me to use the supplied weights.

© Lee Diggle 2010

Got the scope out about 9pm to cool and by 10:30pm I was able to polar align and balance. The extension shaft worked a treat allowing the scope to be properly balanced. So, after a two star alignment I manage to get in on the moon and was absolutely blown away with the detail in the 32mm (39x mag) eyepiece. The image was bright and I was clearly able to see air turbulence from the cooling Earth, something I have never witnessed before. I worked my way through the eyepieces eventually ended up at 9mm and Barlow (267x mag) which revealed a great amount of detail.
Now time for some imaging, I think! I attached my camera to the scope with T adapter and 2x Barlow to achieve focus and rebalance the scope. In doing so I inadvertently knocked the alignment which meant when I told the scope to go to the moon it missed it, however upon finding the moon the mount tracked with it very well. So I manage to take several shots at varying shutter speeds ranging from 1/13 to 1/10 at ISO 400.
After these very quick images I decide to take a look at Saturn. Unfortunately the seeing isn’t great so I only manage to resolve 2 moons.

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