Sunday, May 08, 2005

Astronomy Again

We've had some rain and lower winds the last week or two, which cleared up the sky, so we could see the stars again. Hooray.

And I've got a new toy to play with for a while. The scope on the right is mine and is what I used to take the solar eclipse photos. You can click on the picture to see it bigger.

The scope on the left has been donated to what will hopefully someday become a Bonaire community astronomy club / NGO. It's a 8" Meade LX50, and needed some cleaning and collimation, but is now producing great images. I had to tilt the tripod to polar align the mount, but I hope to come up with a better solution than that.

The computerized object locator gizmo almost puts the objects within the field of view of the eyepiece. "Almost" isn't good enough for dim objects though, so I'll fiddle some more with that too. Fortunately I remember where all sorts of celestial goodies are from back when I used to observe with my classic, non-computerized, orange Celestron scope.

Last week, the little scope was consistently putting Messier objects within the field of view of a 26 mm eyepiece. That was really cool, but once you do locate something in the big scope, the view is waaaay better, so I'll be using it a lot while I can.

Here is what Jupiter looked like Thursday evening in the big scope.
I couldn't find a way to post an uncompressed version of this image, even though the .bmp file was quite small. For some reason, the jpeg compression really hammers the visual quality of this small image. Posted by Hello

Sorry, clicking on this image won't make it any bigger. :)

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