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First Light - Celestron Nexstar 8 GPS


Zeffer

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It was supposed to be cloudy - but nothing's new there. I saw a break in the sky and went for it.

It is a fairly heavy scope compared to my skywatcher on an EQ5, but it is still fairly easy to move around single handed and it was ready to go in a couple of minutes.

I switched on and selected GPS align. Instantly the scope started slewing round to the north. What is noticable is just how quiet the motors are. There is absolutely no worry about waking neighbours etc. It certainly wouldn't be an embarrassment to use at 3am.

A couple of minutes later and the scope starts pointing to the first alignment star - in my case Vega. I looked in the finderscope and there it was! Once aligned in the finder I looked through the scope and aligned it there. Instantly the scope is onto the next star - same process - no problem at all. It's been 5 minutes maximum and I have a successful alignment. Bearing in mind I should get quicker this impressed me.

So - what did I want to see? Well, since I was seven I've wanted to see Uranus. So - two buttons later and the scope is slewing. I knew from stellarium where it should go and it did. I looked through the 40mm lens and there it was! My first ever view of Uranus - quite emotional really. Cranked up the power and turned the point of light into a tiny disc. Ran out of EPs to get closer - I'll be watching the trade pages!

Off to M92 now (M13 was behind a house). As the scope settled on the area I could just see a fuzzy. Each time I looked straight at it, it vanished - had to use averted version. Gradually, however, it became clearer as my eyes adjusted and after cranking up the power I could make out that this was indeed a globular cluster and I could just discern some individual stars at the edges. I decided now that this scope was awesome and that the moon was not good for M92!

Cloud poured in now so I slewed up to M34. Wow! Very nice despite proximity to moon - can't wait to see it on a crisp night with no moon.

Waited an hour for the cloud but left the scope on Uranus. Brought my wife out this time. Looked through the EP - there's Uranus still - tracking is absoulutely silent and very good.

My wife is now impressed. She also looked at M34 and finally we decided to go to the moon. And that is just what it felt like. In the 40mm 70 degree FOV lens the globe filled the EP, blinded us both and was absolutely amazing. It looked like a globe and was so incredible my wife said 'it looks like you could just grab it'. 15mm lens and I am using the arrows on the pad to do some crater hopping. Absolutely awesome, the fine adjustments are so easy and smooth. Just need a 6mm now!

By the end of the session the cloud had returned and we called it a night. We were both blown away by the accuracy of the scope, it's quietness and the awesome optics. I cannot wait to see what it can do on a much better night with a dark sky. And with Saturn, Jupiter, M42 and some sisters to see, my next report will probably involve many an emoticon! :rolleyes:

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Excellent first light. And you're not kidding about the motors, they are whisper quiet. Complete contrast to your average Meade.

Good to hear your wife enjoyed it too. I have no chance of getting my wife out.

Hope you get out again soon.

Russ

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You're right of course - there is so much else I can do with it - Roger's shown me just a bit of it all.

But for now, I am going to enjoy it on a simple level. Once I am confident I will get a camera, but it's such fun just looking at the moment! :rolleyes:

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Yes there is some image shift - unlike the Skymax. I could add a focuser but it really isn't bothering me.

Just been out and seen Uranus again, the Double Cluster (fantastic) and enjoyed my new Swan EP 25mm 2" from Arthur - fantastic FOV.

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Excellent report there Justin. i,m glad you got to grips with it right away, as you say its a Joy using , i shall miss it , but like i said one has to move on , and try other things , dont forget to hug it every night eheheheh,got to treat them like babies .

Joking aside , i,m well pleased for you , keep on looking get to learn the sky as much as possible.

Rog

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I have now managed 3 nights in a row of observing and last night was the best. Sisters shone bright and the double cluster was amazing. Uranus still tiny - must get that EP. (Maybe the Baader 8mm).

Set up is so easy - about four minutes I guess and then it's off to M31 or wherever else takes my fancy.

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