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Astro Day Coordinator
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:03 pm


Unread post by Pete » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:16 pm

Monday, 25 Sep 2017

Spend several hours today cleaning and servicing the observatory – to include taking the computer that died Saturday night in for repair as well as scrubbing down seats & lower dome plus vacuuming. Then prepped it for the Backyard Astronomy class that starts tomorrow by removing the camera and mounting the visual optical train. It’s still tail heavy, even with several pounds of camera removed. Need to move counterweight!!!

Clear night tonight. Actually started out on the deck, playing with the Orion 80 mm short tube (Purchased from Roger M for $75) mounted on the little mount that I bought for $20 from Paul F at the last club meeting. Discovered that the mount can be set to function either as polar aligned or in azimuth configuration. Around 18:45 played with each, eventually winding up in polar viewing Luna. As the moon fell into the trees Saturn became visible and the little scope was pointed thataway.

Using the 26mm eyepiece (15X) it wasn’t possible to distinguish rings. Pushing the little scope to my maximum (6.4mm eyepiece yielding 62X) rings were very visible but no other detail. This much magnification is pushing the limits of the mount.

I’d invited my friend Deiter over, and he showed up around 19:00 with his daughter and 3 grandchildren. The 14” hasn’t been used visually for a long time and this is a rehearsal for tomorrow night’s class.

We did all viewing thru the 18mm Nagler (197X). Viewed, in turn, Saturn, M13, M57, Albireo. Had an unexpected brilliant pass of the ISS around 19:50 or so, right across the open dome shutter. We ran out and caught it dimming as it moved from SW to SE. Tried for M31 but it’s still in the trees from the dome, and Pegasus is still too low in the E to catch it from the deck with binoculars until 20:30.

All visitors were simply blown away. Deiter’s daughter may be signing up for my class tomorrow AM if it hasn’t filled.

Pete P.
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Paul D
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:13 pm

Re: Rehearsal

Unread post by Paul D » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:47 am


Great report, I was out on Saturday and Sunday night and the funny thing is I was using an Orion 80mm short tube as well that I bought from Bob S. I had mounted it as a finder scope on my 16" dob. Its lite enough where it doesn't throw off the balance of my scope and its really a nice little scope. I actually observed M13, M57, M92 and a bunch of doubles with it while mounted. I think if I can figure out a counter balance system that works well with the 80mm and my monster ES 100 degree EP that it may become my regular finder scope.

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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