We’ve had a couple of fantastic clear nights out here in Manukau, so I trotted out to the observatory and fired up the scope.
Telescope alignment was something that really needed to be sorted as it wasn’t really required for the transit of Venus the other day, so I fired up the two star alignment routine and added an extra alignment star. The intention was to do an all star alignment, but it didn’t quite work out due to an unexpected power cut (Sheryl flicked the wrong switch!) however the alignment was pretty good.
Saturn was selected using the hand controller, and when it finished slewing, sure enough it was right in the centre of the eyepiece. Nice.
Next on my to-do list was get autoguiding working, so I used PHD Guiding, and it worked a treat. As suspected a good alignment is the key here.
I fired up the DBK imaging source camera and had a go at Saturn.
I posted this image on Facebook, and had some good comments about it. I must admit the first time you see Saturn in the eyepiece is amazing. Much brighter than the photo, but you can see some more details when it’s a little dimmer.
The next night I had another crack at it, but this time I used the 3 x Barlow. The image was bigger obviously but not really a significantly better result actually. The atmosphere and light pollution is a likely source. I will use my light pollution filter next time.
However the Observatory and Telescope are now operating really well, and I’ve got the observatory set up how I like it. The carpet was a really good idea, and I’ve got a Logitech Boombox connected to a laptop via bluetooth, which works a treat.
I’ve decided to have a go at some Deep Space Objects and use the hyperstar lens next time, see if I can get a good shot of Eta Carinae, this could be a bit optimistic, but I’ll give it a shot.
The transit of Venus stardate: 08062012 I managed to get a picture and a few videos of the transit of...