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Wouldn't you know it!


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Clear Outside and other services had been predicting a beautiful clear night for tonight for a while now, so I set up the scope outside early, for it to cool down properly. Around 20:00 I set about polar aligning the scope, and looking at Jupiter. I noticed the collimation was off. I got decent views in the Nagler 31T5, but the Pentax XW 10mm gave mushy views, not due to seeing (which seemed really good). I set about collimating the scope, which is always a bit fiddly, but after tweaking the secondary perhaps 5-10 minutes I found the view in the XW 10mm was now great, with the GRS nicely centred on the disk, and the thin ellipse of lighter hue surrounding it crisply outlined. I even went up to 254x with the Delos 8 mm, and still got nice stable views. All seemed set for a fruitful planetary imaging session, first Jupiter, which is not too low any more, and then later Mars, which rises really high.

And then clouds intervened :clouds1:. I had noticed one or two wisps of cloud passing, but was still firmly convinced that these would pass. Now, however, a solid belt of cloud came out of the east. Checking Clear Outside to see if this was merely a thin belt, I was disappointed to see that the forecast had changed to clouds for the rest of the night. Nothing for it but to pack it all up and go inside. ☹️

Oh well, at least the scope is well collimated again, and probably will stay so for years, if the past is anything to go by.

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