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ST 80mm..first light

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well I spent a few hours today setting up the ST80 with new dovetails for piggybacking my dslr and took it out for a test drive tonight. I did the balancing act indoors so it would be ready to rock.

My first view was Pliades. I used the standard 25mm ep that came with it and after a quick and easy focus, I could see a miriad of pinpoint stars. Contrast, considering the moons position was good. I was quite impressed with the view.

I set the cam rolling for some subs and left it alone for a while. I while later I was doing the darks and thought I'd take the opportunity of doing some visual.

Jupiter was blazing away just above the rooftop so I thought I'd test it on that. First I used the 25mm ep and could easily see a nice round Jupiter with 3 distinct moons and one that was barely discernable right next to Jupiter. I put in the 2x barlow with the 25mm and low and behold, I could just make out Ganymede coming into view. This is great, I thought, so lets try the 10mm ep with the barlow. Wow, wow, wow. I had my first wow moment with Jupiter.

I could clearly see all four moons with a distinct seperation between Jupiter and Ganymede. i actually saw the bands of Jupiter for the first time. I am really impressed with this small scope. I didn't think it would be this good.

I can't wait to get out the ED80 and give that its first light. Roll on next week when I have a few days off.

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Yeah, planetary viewing isn't exactly the ST80's forte, a great wide field scope though ... your ED80 (f/7.5 right?) will perform much better.

I imagine your goal is to eventually hook the Canon up to your ED80 and autoguide off the ST80? If not, it should be... would be a good package.

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That is the plan when I sort out the guiding. the ST80 will be employed as a guidescope for the ED80 and for the dslr. I just thought I would take a few minutes to see what it was capable of for casual viewing and I was very impressed with the view of Jupiter. The ED80 should perform much better with equivelent magnification, but I will need a barlow and another ep. I only have the 28mm ep that is supplied with it. Still need a clear sky to test it.

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