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Imok

First Light

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Finally I got out last night :)

I've had my scope over a month, but due to how my shifts work there are only 2 days out of 8 that I am able to stay up late, and they've all been cloudy, until last night!

I don't have a garden so we went to a dark car park in a forrest park about 30 mins from me.

I had wrapped up warm, wearing 3 tshirts instead of a tshirt and a jumper, nice warm jacket, hat, scarf, gloves... why didn't I think to wear extra socks? My feet were painfully cold but thats a lesson learned at least.

We set up about 7:40pm, with no planets up, and no moon, we headed straight for the orion nebula. I was quite surprised as to how easy it was too find, although I did need to check some pictures to make sure I wasn't just looking at a cloud or a smudge on the lens!

We then warmed up in the car, waiting patiently for Saturn to arrive over the horizon. I had worked out roughly where in Taurus that Saturn was going to appear from, and when I finally saw something that didn't fit, I began homing in on Saturn.

This was a little trickier I found. It seemed like every time I had it reasonably lined up, it had moved. Finally I managed to find it with the wide angle eye piece, started to focus on this fast moving Saturn, and to my surprise Saturn has one large yellow light, and one small flashing red one... Yes I'd just spent 5 mins chasing a plane that was coincidentally coming straight towards me, so appeared not to be moving in the sky.

Eventually we did find the real Saturn, not fake imposter Saturn, and it really was quite a nice feeling. We are complete newbs in terms of telescope operation and I had my doubts over whether or not we would find anything on the first night. It was very small in the 25mm eyepiece, but we managed to focus it briefly and see the rings. The wind was a real pain, it was very windy, not only cold, but the wind was actually shaking the scope, not so much that you could see from the outside, but when big gusts came as you looked through the eyepiece everything was shaking about like mad.

I tried the 10mm eyepiece, and the barlow with both eyepieces, but could not get Saturn in focus on any combination apart from the 25mm. Could this be down to collimation? I must admit I don't really have a clue about it so certainly did not do it before we went out, but in the 10mm piece I thought I had got away with it as the image was so sharp, but maybe the lack of collimation is what is stopping me focus with the other eyepieces? I kinda hope so actually, cos otherwise I'm out of ideas!

Well it was a long cold night but I thoroughly enjoyed it, seeing these things with my own eyes for the first time is something I'm not going to forget any time soon :p

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Not sure where you are on the globe but I know in northern California, USA, Saturn isn't rising until about 8:40pm...it's not at a reasonable elevation in the sky until around 2-3 am.

How was the seeing - you mentioned you couldn't focus - was it like looking through a thin sheet of water where everything moved a little?

Cheers

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Hi

I'm in south east England, and Saturn didn't rise until 8:40pm here too, it was low in the sky when we were looking. I'm pretty new to it all so I'm not too sure how much conditions were at fault and how much was me. Things were certainly moving about a bit but I know at least part of that was the wind blowing the scope, because it coincided with large gusts.

When trying to focus I felt like I was going the right way, it was coming into more focus but I reached the limit before I got there... I'll deffo need to give it another try soon at around 3am!

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Am I right in thinking you've got a SW 150p ?

It may be that Saturn had moved out of the field of view by the time you'd swapped to the 10mm eyepiece. If you have the mount polar alligned, adjusting RA should find it again, even if not focussed.

Don't know if it was a slip up typing in but Saturn's in Virgo.

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Yeah I got the SW 150p, and you are right it was Virgo, meant Taurus when I said it, but just getting confused cos I'm a newb :)

Saturn was still in the field of view I'm sure, just difficulty focussing. Hopefully I'll get another chance a bit later at night pretty soon!

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Getting a good look at Saturn has been a bit of trial for me too. I've got a restricted view to the South with trees blocking my view, so can only see it low in the sky a bit after it's risen, or through gaps in the trees.

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