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