First light

3/12/2010: There was a break in the cloud cover for about two hours, so I got the telescope out and tested the collimation and AutoStar hand held device. A new Meade LXD75 10″ Schmidt-Newtonian, I pointed the scope towards some bright stars and the image was pinpoint – no trails or prism colors. The UHTC optics are doing a good job. I had to train the telescope first: Polaris alignment via the polar axis scope in the equatorial mount: check – Polaris was between 40 and 60 deg North. Turned on the AutoStar and it calibrated using Sirius and Capella. I had to slightly adjust to center the stars, and then it was calibrated. Off to Orion we go… The Orion nebula was a treat: even in the terrible light pollution I could discern the nebula wisps better than I could with my old Meade 6600 Newtonian. Off to Pleades: the telescope slewed right onto it and the view was loud and clear. I am quite impressed by the optics, as the lense coatings in this thing do make a difference and the motorized drive is smooth. The clouds started rolling in from the South fast (unusual, as they always come in from the West), and I packed it up an headed in doors. I will return soon to test the CCD camara…

By Steve J Posted in Main

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