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First Light, SW Explorer 150PDS on NEQ6

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I did it! Allow me to quote the Portal 1 ending song:

"This was a triumph, I'm making a note here: huge success, it's hard to overstate my satisfaction".

We didn't have an entire evening, but I managed to convince my buddy to join me this night for first light. We set out to a grass airfield in Vallentuna, but it turned out to be too misty. We then found a small parking lot in a clearing closeby and started to set up.

I really had NO IDEA if what I found in the polar scope was polaris or not, but somehow it seemed to work. The 2-star alignment with Capella and Dubhe was a bit off but after that it slewed right onto M45, M31 and Jupiter with fenomenal accuracy.

The Pleiades was really big, I couldnt really fit it into my widest eyepiece, but it really was a cluster of diamonds to behold. Andromeda was... well... a fuzzy blob. After slewing to Jupiter we immediately saw 4 moons and after changing eyepieces down to 6mm we saw two faint cloud bands.

After that it had become very cold, my friend was freezign a bit, and had endured me struggle with setup and polar align for long enough so I let him drive home to his girlfriend while i stowed my car. I didn't want to stay behind alone myself but I was - I AM - very satisfied with the night. My mount works, I managed to align it. And I got to see something.

Things learned: Some more organisation and boxes wont hurt now. Will looking into stowing more effectively. If I got time while its bright outside, set up the mount then. GET A RED HEADLAMP. Look at dew heaters. Dew was pretty intense even if the mirror didnt have time to mist up. Find a good spot close to home, the venue was nice, but not really close by any standards. Probably somewhere a bit more north of where I live is a tad less polluted. Also remember to take afocal snapshots even if the camera isnt mounted.

Oh, and here's a fuzzy picture of me my friend snapped off:


Very happy and tired. Time to celebrate with a cold pint.


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Thank you all. I am very satisfied and cannot stop grinning to myself today.

I'm still searching for a suitable spot nere home, but I've recently spoken to an aquiantance who runs a Lapphund kennel a bit north of were I live, and their sky is much darker, I'm guessing thats the destination for the next extended session. Since I cannot observe from home I need to pack my car anyway, might as well drive 20km to some darkes skies while I'm at it.

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Thanks for the kind words all!

Now I'm probably stuck at home for atleast a week, unless I can find a good spot around the corner. Winter weather struck a month early and my tires are worn out summer tires, and my new winter soles dont arrive for a week still.... Dont wanna risk sliding off an icy road in the dark if i can avoid it.


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Sounds like a sweet set up and an even sweeter mount. Glad you got off to a flying start. The cold is only going to get worse too lol.

I understand why you didn't want to be left alone, im very much the same. Can be dangerous, take precautions and should be fine. As they say though, its a lot easier to just be looking after yourself rather than other people too if something does go wrong.

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