Friday 17 July
Big set up.
150pl on the exos 2 GOTO
First target was Saturn to see what the longer FL made. I wasn’t disappointed, more magnification on the same EP. Used the 9mm x-cell (133x) the view was superb even though it was behind trees for a while and very low in the sky. Next outing I will capture some webcam video and see how it goes.
150p on the EQ 3-2 manual
Found M57 ring nebula. This was more an experiment in seeing how my manual finding skills were. I must say a proper finder scope rather than a RDF made a huge difference. I first found Vega and set the setting circles. Then found the RA/Dec for M57 and slewed round. A quick look in the finder to get bearings then looked in the 25 mm NPL EP, M57 very slightly of center but in view.
Once I was dark adapted I changed to 9mm X-cell and learn’t how to use averted vision, I was stunned by the difference it made.
Then I slewed to M13 co-ordinates and that was bang in the centre of the 25 mm EP, back to the 9 mm WOW
I found the EQ 3 so much easier to use than the old wobbly CG-3 my astromaster came on.
I can’t emphasise enough the difference a quality mount makes even for visual use.
Also the extra 20 mm aperture over the astromaster 130EQ
I have now shortened the Astromaster 130 EQ tube by 20 mm to allow Prime focus photography without the need for a barlow.
Overall I have the options for visual and AP simultaneously and am now starting to enjoy astronomy rather than think about what else I need to do it
Sunday 19 July
130EQ on the Exos 2 GOTO
I piggybacked the ST80 to use as a guider with a webcam. Couldn’t resolve a star on M27 so I reverted to 1 min unguided exposures with the Olympus.
After focusing on Vega I slewed to M57 and ran the first exposure. Checked the screen and there it was bang in the middle a fuzzy white BMW badge. So ran off 30 1 min. exposures plus 5 each flats, bias and darks. For the lights I used the laptop screen with notepad open over the tube and set the cam to shutter priority. All calibration frames taken at same focus and orientation.
150p on EQ 3-2
While the images were running, Observed M27 and M57. Finding it so much easier now.
M57strainght on target with the slewing, first a distinct ring with a slightest two tone hint of greys.
M27 Again strainght on target with the slewing, a brightish fuzzy but I could resolve the swirl looking something like a BMW badge
Both of these were sketched.
Sketeches can be found in my gallery
Lower the mount when I want to sketch so I can sit down and concentrate