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Evening all. Thanks to you all so far for helping me working out my telescope purchase. In the intervening period I purchased a pair of 10x50 Olympus bins and spent a week outside at least an hour every night working out what I am looking at.
I haven't kept a full log of each night in detail so I will summarise what I have seen. It is not particularly dark where I live but I had had a chance on two nights to go rural and then to 'dark sky site' all of which has spoiled me! Street lights go off after midnight here so I reckon that could make a big difference and will check later in the week.
Jupiter - The first and easiest target on the very first night. I was taken back being able to see the moons in a straight line, one to the left and three to the right. Over the week I have seen the arrangement change in distance between moons and even number of moons visible.
Saturn - Very small but clearly yellow. Sometimes I think I can see the rings and then I wonder if it is a blur on the lens or just not focusing.
Something above and to the right diagonal of Jupiter - I am trying to work out what this is from Stellarium but I don't know for sure. A possible candidate is M26. I first saw it this evening and describe it as a definite white fuzz. Could anyone please suggest an object and advise me how to correctly describe the direction/method to find objects to other people?
Coathanger - One of the first asterisms I came across by mistake and have used it every night as a way to find some other stuff I researched.
M27 - Managed to navigate to this every time from Sagitta. From my garden is a faint white circle. Rural I saw a less faint white circle. Dark sky I saw a rather bright white circle and with some long blinking and everted vision I thought I could see faint details of the apple core shape at the top and bottom.
M31 - I first found this at the rural location semi by mistake and working off a vague memory of a route I read to find it. Seeing this was the best feeling so far. The idea that I was looking at an entire galaxy through only a pair of binoculars seemed quite amazing. It was a white fuzz in the middle and with some blinking and averted vision I could see it spreading out sideways. I have found it again tonight but it mostly remains as a white fuzz blob but a rather large one. It seems to take a bit of time in to the night before it becomes visible.
NGC6997 - I have inferred this was the object having looked around Deneb where there is quite a lot of action. It was a smallish cluster and not particularly bright but obviously a cluster and the only thing on Stellarium in this area.
Milky Way - Whilst at the dark sky site I could very clearly follow the Milky Way and make out what I thought was dust between the stars.
Mars - a very small but obviously red dot.
Stars - Not so easy for me at the moment to name different stars. I know around Vega I have seen a double star one blue one more orange but this could equally have been somewhere else in the sky. I have also seen a lot of stars in pairs often of different colours around Cygnus.
Took my Celestron AVX Mount out this afternoon to familiarize my self with it in the daylight. Wasn’t sure if or how it would work, since it’s my first goto Mount. I got it setup per the directions and attached the SkySync GPS. It locked on my location very quickly so I did the Quick Align option just as a test. The polar scope was oriented north, and I used Sky Safari to locate stars I couldn’t see cause it was daytime. My first choice was Sirius and it slewed right around to what should be the general vicinity! I then chose Venus in the West and off it went! I hit home and it went back to the original setup position. I can’t wait to take it out tomorrow night and really put it through it’s paces! This is totally most excellent!
Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer?
I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often.
Please share your thoughts.....
Dusted off the scope last night to check if everything is working ok, aimed for a quick bash at Jove, then some fiddling with the OAG setup using M13 as target.
Attached is Jupiter at around 1030 with Io bottom left. I was quite pleased as only had 2 runs of 3 minutes before moving onto the guiding practice which went 'badly'