ll evening it’s been broken clouds. I finished writing the third section to my book (all done – landmark) then went outside at 12:45am and saw that everything was clear, that Orion was up, and that I had that new light filter I wanted to try.
The good news was that Orion was visible right off the back porch, so that’s where I set the scope up at, right on the porch. Nice to work on boards for a change. However, I managed to dislodge (i.e. drop) the spotter scope twice. So now I was cursing a blue streak. Everything was bunged up. After remounting the spotter, I aimed at the biggest thing out there – Sirius. Bullseyed it and then managed to get the scope (on lowest mag) to agree. Then I went after Orion and that flashy nebula.
Someone told me that overhead sighting sucks. I can agree with that – the scope is directly up and I’m having to sit on my knees (on a deck) trying to get a good look. Anyway, after a lot of effort, I managed to get the nebula in range on the x25 scope. Played with filter, on and off, and like it. Not much difference – I’m not suddenly out in the middle of space – but it helps. Stepped up with my stronger lens combo and managed to locate and focus on the nebula at 120x. And while it’s neat to see it that close (I could distinctly view that box of four stars in its center, backing down to 60x or even 25x gives a better viewing. Still, I swapped out the lenses and burned and hour marveling at the cloud.
And here’s where setting up on a tight deck isn’t such a hot idea – the Pleiades were up but sinking into a pine tree. Since my wife was out with me and she’d never seen it, I tried to drop the power to 25x (best viewing) and get lined up but by then they were gone. So, lesson learned, set up with the widest sky overhead since you might want to look at other things.
Andromeda is my next target. Saw it through the noks the other night and want to line the scope on it. The pursuit continues…
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