Astronomical Observations

First cloud-free (well, relatively – there was some clouds hanging around along the horizon) night with the telescope tonight, despite Metcheck‘s protestations to the contrary. Off I troddle into the back yard with the trusty telescope with the optics all in order (or so I thought) for a swift bit of observing. An hour later, I’d got the mount aligned with polaris, and finally managed to get the finderscope approaching something like aligned. I thought I’d done a pretty good job aligning both the mirrors the other day; they are certainly better aligned than when I bought the thing, but they are obviously not quite right still.

I found Jupiter, and got a good view of it, although slightly elongated as the mirrors still are some way off perfectly aligned, so it was a bit smeared on one edge. However, with the 10mm eyepiece, I could quite clearly make out some of the cloud rings, although the spot eluded me. For such a large planet, it’s absolutely tiny :)
I think, with that in mind, I might need a higher power eyepiece so that I can get it a little larger. Although it worked quite well for the gallilean moons, there they were, all 4 of them hanging round the planet like the kids outside Tesco’s in West Hallam.
I don’t think she’d admit it, but even Claire seemed rather impressed with seeing it, although gre quite bored within a couple of minutes, and wanted to look at the moon. So round we whizz, and get a quick 30 second observation of the moon each before it disappeared behind the house :(

I reckon a new eyepiece and a 2 (or 4) times barlow will resolve Jupiter quite well, but I’ve got a horrible feeling that what will actually happen is that it’ll only show up inaccuracies in my by-eye collimation of the scope’s mirrors – maybe I just need bit more practice at it, or I didn’t manage to quite do the nuts up tightly enough and it’s fallen out of alignment. We’ll see sometime later tomorrow, when we get back from Coventry, after attending a meeting we have there. Trouble is, this meeting means we won’t get to the telescope shop, as planned :(

One thought on “Astronomical Observations”

  1. Yes, seeing Juipter was quite exciting but looking at the moon was *far* more interesting and I would have liked to have been able to look at it for quite some time. Of course it would help if we had a little more room on the back yard and weren’t fighting wobbly paving slabs!

    You have plenty of time to get to the telescope shop this morning dearest, if only you would get your butt out of bed. But you have ignored your alarm clock 4 times now so obviously you don’t really want to go to the telescope shop today…….

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