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PESKYWAABBIT

First time out with new scope, things didn't go so well

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Been waiting for days in anticipation for the first clear night with my new SW 200P reflector and HEQ5 mount.  I found instantly that I couldn't locate the North Star due to bloody trees and also the moon was so bright it made all other objects so much more dim in my scope. The Polaris Alignment scope LED's are so bright I couldn't align any star in the scope at all, let alone see through it. I did check it was clear and it didn't have the cap on or the weight bar obstructing it. I tried adjusting the brightness but found no settings in the SynScan handset for my model! I also found out that my clock ring rotates even if I lock them to the specific axis. (Annoying)

In the end, instead of just messing around trying to align the damn thing I just span it around and zeroed in on the moon and other stars. I found pretty quickly that I can only focus on the moon IF I use a 2X barlow lense in the chain and that the focuser doesn't move back as far as my older Vixen refractor. 

Anywayyyy to make the most out of the full moon and the fact it was clear I took some photos and made a mosaic out of 54 individual photo's I took. The original photo is 388MB, so I've uploaded a much smaller version.

My first proper AstroPhotography photo, any thoughts or solutions to the problems I found on my first night out? I'm hoping the next time I go out, it's much smoother.

Enjoy.

- Pesky

TheMoon1680x1680.png

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That's a good start, considering the issues you mention.
Practice makes perfect with the setup, keep at it.

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That's a very nice image Tom, great start!

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Wow you did well to make a 54 pane mosaic after having all those problems.

For the focusing issue, did you take the 2" adaptor off of the focuser?

I've never had much fun aligning with a polar scope but then I'm quite far North so need my head on the ground to even see it.  Hopefully you get your gremlins sorted out and have better luck next time out.

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Now you've had a good taste ( :eek: ) of things that can make viewing a bit difficult! But, rather than go into the house and hang yourself, you persevered and brought back a photo of the Moon - as taken under some trying circumstances! Congratulations! You've passed the 'Acid-Test' of learning what 'seeing' is all about. And come back with a good prize for your efforts!

That's a very nice Moon. I'd say you have been through a "Perfect-Storm" of nasty things working against you. At least it couldn't get much worse for a 'First-Light' for your new scope & you. And I'm sure you've learned a great deal in the process. This side of winding-up dropping a house on some nasty, old woman with a broom and being swarmed by Midgets singing to you - next time will be better!

Follow The Yellow Brick-Road!

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
chr.
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Focusing. Please check that you only have the one size adaptor in place for the eyepiece you are using. I think these ship with the 1.25 adaptor sat inside the two inch one. 

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Very nice image given all your trials and tribulations. Got to get better with practice.

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It's really good when you salvage something out of a disaster night. The Moon photo is great.

Edited by Mak the Night

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15 hours ago, D4N said:

For the focusing issue, did you take the 2" adaptor off of the focuser?

 

12 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Focusing. Please check that you only have the one size adaptor in place for the eyepiece you are using. I think these ship with the 1.25 adaptor sat inside the two inch one. 

To answer both of these questions, I swear the 2" adapter was not in the focuser at the time but instead in the box when I got it. I have no 2" eye pieces and my T mount for my DSLR is a straight 1.25". I do need to get myself a 2" T mount extender tube as I've heard taking photos through a 2" straight is much, much better.

I was failing to get any focus with the 1.25" adapter and a 10mm eyepiece. But as soon as I used a x2 Barlow lense, I could actually acquire focus.

Also, is it just me or is a full moon a pest for viewing other stars? It lit up my whole garden and I found it difficult to find a few stars myself. I assume a crescent moon is much more suitable for seeing deep space!

Thanks for the positive feedback with my photo, appreciate it.

- Pesky

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Nice photo and a good result for the 1st time out.

Deep sky objects, in the main, look much better when there is no moon in the sky. Galaxies and nebulae are particularly easily washed out even by a cresent moon and either vanish or are very difficult to find.

 

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A new moon, or as close as possible to it is best for viewing everything.  Except the moon of course! :p

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Nice. I would cut down either the exposure time and the ISO setting. This way you get a slightly more underexposed image which is much easier to tweak in PS or other programs than an overexposed image.

The full Moon and just post or prior to full is not easy due to wash out, the terminator provides the best area to play with the focus. Which is what I do.

What program did you use to stitch all the 56 panels together with?

 

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Dont be too worried about not seeing the polar through the polar scope first time around. I too had problems first time out with my eq6. I did everything wrong. Left the cap in the top, didn't even realize the weight bar extended out further only to find I still could not see anything. LED fully up and full down but nothing so packed up thinking it was the equipment.

These have a very small fov and next night out I took my time and even with the led nearly at full I saw the polar star. I held a lazer pointer against the  scope to make sure I was roughly in the right area and find this helps me.

 

Polar Scope LED should be in the utilities function list.

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