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A rare astronomy session and an even rarer visual one...

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I have too many hobbies and suffer too badly from depression to do many things regularly and given the focus for me over the last few months is to get fit and lose a load of weight many other hobbies have taken a back seat.  However, given what a glorious afternoon it was yesterday here in Sheffield I thought I would chance setting the scope up for some lunar obs and tackle a few other jobs I've had on the to do list as well.

First up was updating Astroberry and checking I could remember how to use it all.  That went without a hitch and after a bit of faffing with IP addresses etc I had my iPad talking nicely to it and everything.  For once mount alignment went without a hitch also - I was cooking on gas :).

Next up I wanted to align my guidescope with my main scope properly so I could use it together with Astroberry to slew to and plate solve visual targets.  In the past I have just used the main imaging camera for this but given my light polluted skies being able to use the guidescope when I want to do visual work will save me a ton of time.  This too went surprisingly well although by now seeing had deteriorated somewhat.

Anyway, all these jobs ticked off I decided to have a look at the Beehive Cluster as it was still nicely discernible.  My first thought?  Why the hell don't I use my scope for visual more often - it's an original TMB 105/650 for heavens sake and optically it's perfect.  Just such a nice thing to look through.  I spent a good 30 mins just drinking it all in - so many stars to see and with my ES Max Vision 2" 24mm the cluster filled the eyepiece beautifully.  I tried a few other targets but seeing was pretty ropey by then however I persevered when the moon came above the roof line of the garage and just wow!

I have used my big 10" SCT for lunar work but I can get to similar magnifications with my frac so good are the optics and the contrast and resolution are so much better.  I have long had a fascination with the moon, could look at it for hours, and the detail I was seeing just took my breath away.  Every little crease and crater perfectly visible and such a 3D view of the cliffs and features - just stunning.  I must do this more often and now I the guidescope functioning as an electronic finderscope as well I hope to tick off more targets over the coming weeks :).

Dirty phone up to the eyepiece photo for reference :)


Edited by dannybgoode
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