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Hello there, I thought to myself that it would be great to write everything down I'm experiencing. From the very beginning, to the very end... So I chose to create this blog and use it as my small journal for personal observations, stargazing sessions, thoughts, reflections and what I recently learned. The greatest thing about this is, that it gives the opportunity to kick of many interesting discussions and I really can't wait to get started. Around the end of winter 2017 I started gazing around with a pair of binoculars I found at home. I initially got them when I was 9 years old and literally forgot about them... They were eating dust for 18 years now. After gazing around a little I bought myself some interesting books about astronomy and how to find stars and star maps. I don't know if it was my subconsciousness leading me into ticking off a point on my bucket list, but after so much hesitation if I should buy a 'scope or n... BWAAAAH I cracked and bought one. Period! Which leads us to yesterday night. After many days of reflection and information overkill, I finally went for a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with BST 25mm, BST 15mm and BST 8mm eypieces. I ordered it last week on FLO and I couldn't be happier! It arrived divided into three packages last night and I immediately had to assemble it! Armed with my cordless screwdriver set to 11nm of tension, it took me about half an hour to assemble it and check if it was collimated right. Collimation was not perfect but it was absolutely okay for a first ride (I really should admit that I am a little anxious to collimate it and it is so near "perfect" that I'm okay with it at the moment). All in all the pictures don't give enough credit on the built quality of the 'scope. It is a simple to assemble and use first 'scope. I'm really glad that all of you pushed me in the right direction. After assembly and cleaning there were ONLY 5 damn hours left to wait until sunset... So I figured to simply develop a small evening plan in what I wanted to watch and gaze at. I simply chose to visit Saturn and Jupiter... Humble and modest for starters but hey, less is more and I really wanted to enjoy my evening out and not dish up myself with a list that a total novice couldn't handle and therefore risk to end up with a very disappointing first night. I'll write up my first experience in the next post and if you're interested, keep an open eye. I'll also use the opportunity to thank everyone involved into getting me started with my first 'scope! So let's go! Abe
I picked this up yesterday from Ed Harrison and managed a very quick first light tonight, dodging clouds all the time. For a relatively long scope it is lightweight and easy to handle. I popped it on my Giro-WR which, with the counterweight bar I couldn't find, will handle it easily for grab and go use. The Vixen is a fine looking 'proper' scope. The objective, which appears to be in a collimateable cell has that classic fluorite look to it, lovely stuff. The focuser is original, and is surprisingly good; very smooth with little or no shift. I have, however ordered a Feathertouch to go on it as I really enjoy the additional control to be had with the dual speed, and just the feel! So, first light? Not too much seen unfortunately, and the seeing was not much to write home about. Star images looked pretty clean and well collimated, I'll test more fully next time out. Vega's tiny secondary was pin sharp, and the Double Double split cleanly. Highlight for me tonight though was the Double Cluster. Often underwhelming from here, it had that lovely diamonds on velvet look to it, with tens of tiny stars just on the limit of visibility beautifully resolved. A fairly inconclusive session all in all apart from the DC, but these scopes have an excellent reputation and it's nice just having the pleasure of owning one. I'm sure it will give me plenty of enjoyable nights observing in future.