March 30th, 2011
Last night was my 51st time acclimating and using my telescope. I must confess something, I have been a bad astronomer. You see, telescopes have no magic to them. However, like many illusionists, they work with mirrors. Once in awhile (about every two months or so) or according to need, the user makes sure that these mirrors are indeed aligned properly. In true astronomical terms, this is called collimation. I confess, all this time,... I have never done it.
If truth be known, like a neurosurgeon attempting to "make that first cut", I have been quite intimidated by the whole ordeal. However, I have waited long enough and it had to be done. I attempted to check the alignment of the mirrors last night but deep down inside, I knew I didn't have to. This was long time overdue.
I called the store I usually deal with for my astronomical needs for three reasons today:
- The telescope I had ordered to use during the summer had not arrived yet. It had been exactly one month since I had made the order.
- My new Barlow lens had not been delivered either.
- I wanted to order a little jewel that would make my collimation experience less painful, a Hotech Laser Collimator.
Now, why on earth would I order from this particular seller again if I had waited so long for my previous items? I've dealt with him before and he's always been dependable. He apologized over and over again stating that he had not received the items from his supplier yet. Why don't I go directly to the supplier myself? My passion for astronomy is still in it's infancy stages making suggestions / recommendations greatly appreciated. As I learn, I believe that I will feel more secure with my purchases in the future. However, when it came to the collimator, the seller actually congratulated me stating, "that it was indeed the best".
Collimation was near to impossible last night. At first I thought that my eyesight was still giving me trouble because of my latest MS relapse but in the end, it had nothing to do with my own vision at all,... the humidity levels were extremely high making any clear image impossible.
So here I sit waiting for my purchased items to make their way to the isolated north. The Barlow is greatly needed since the one I have been using all of this time, has developed a crack (I never dropped it so assume that this was caused by the differences of heat and cold over time). I also wait impatiently for the collimator.
The neurosurgeon has been far too patient and an incision is due.