Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Box Hill and moon shots

Since I own that 2x barlow lens, it opened up so many details mainly about Jupiter and the Moon.
There is a wonderful place near London called Box Hill, which I visited on Saturday. As the air was clearer and the light pollution wasn't affecting my observation that much, I had the sharpest view of Jupiter.
By the way I took a picture of the Moon. I think the 20mm eyepiece was used for the top photo and the bottom one is with 12mm. The quality is terrible as it has been taken by my Galaxy Note held against eyepiece (very unprofessional I have to admit). But already some of the craters, mountains and lowlands can be seen.

Also the nature of using a telescope clearly visible on the top picture. That's your field of view basically, what you are able to see. As the magnification increases ( the number in millimeters on your eyepiece decreases ), the field of view shrinks too. So simply the object moves out from the view quicker.

Just hope that soon I'll be able to photograph more details, properly with my Canon 600D.
Also I realized how important the basic setups are. At the beginning the process was simple, I assembled the equipment, aligned the finder scope and observe. I sort of discovering the advantages of the correct setup. First of all the mount should face to the right direction ( North ). I still had no chance to do the polar alignment, because of the intensive light pollution and the restricted view from my back garden. But already realized, that I do not need to use both of the knobs ( R.A. and Dec. control knobs), because it almost completely correctly follows the object on the sky you are pointing at. So you don't need to correct the aiming position of the scope, only need to use one of those knobs and it will track the object properly. I guess if the polar alignment is correct too, it must be more accurate for sure.

And last but least a photo of the night sky with strong Light pollution. The Orion belt is at the bottom of the picture and still can be seen well

Orion constellation startrailed

Good advise for everyone who starts astronomy, it requires loads of readings. I discovered that after the main attractions ( Jupiter, Moon, Orion Nebula and some bright stars ) I ran out of targets. Simply because I don't know other interesting objects and where they are on the sky. So I keep working on it, because there are so much to learn. And see.......

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Barlow lens

I just bought a 2x 1.25" barlow lens for my scope. It basically doubles the magnification of each eyepiece. Haven't tried it yet due weather circumstances, but once it clears up for a little bit I will.

Getting better (27th Jan)

Well after self-educating myself from the internet, just realized (again) that size isn't everything. Yes I know it sounds cliché but when it comes to eyepieces, apparently it is true.

When I assumed my biggest eyepiece (28mm) gives the highest magnification, it was wrong. So therefore I used my "weakest" eyepiece.
It buzzed me up and wanted to try those two eyepieces (20mm and 12 mm) immediately.

This was even a better view of the big planet and four of it's moons were shining. I managed to force my Galaxy Note to take a picture of it. Just for fun.
This was the result.

Juputer with three moons

Of course far from what you can see in the scope (clarity and contrast), but at least something for the beginning.
After this my attention turned toward the Orion.

Orion Nebula just under Orion belt and Beteguse ( dying star)

It wasn't that hard to spot Orion Nebula and there it was. Unbelievable formation, looks like a bluish cloud bursting out from nowhere. The photo above is not mine of course. .. Not yet 

First observation (25th Jan)

The weather looked promising on that day, so I assembled the scope and waiting for the dawn.


My amateurism came out immediately, because I never used anything similar to this and nobody showed me how and what.... So my first thought was that I'm not going to spend time with using the finderscope, simply started using the scope alone.
Than it became clear my field of view is so tiny, that you are not able to use only the scope to find anything on the sky. Especially not for the very first time lol. Anyway after two hours of disappointment I finally began using the finderscope too. Even in London in my garden it was possible to align the scope and the finder. I was simply trying to spot one or to stars in the scope and find the same thing in the finder as well. As soon as it was done, the miracle happened.
I pointed the finder to Jupiter and when I looked into the eyepiece... There it was. Great. Wonderful. Fantastic view...... It was an overwhelming feeling as it was hanging there in the middle of the dark, surrounded by it's three moons. If I focused my eyes to the right way, then two thick red stripes became visible on the surface of the planet.

When I bought the scope, it came with a 2” 28mm and two 1,25” (20mm and 12mm) eyepieces.
Another fact became crystal clear, eyepiece is the main factor what you see. In terms of size my 28mm eyepiece is the biggest, so I assumed it has the highest magnification from the all three. On that night the 28mm one was used only. I was happy about the Jupiter, even to see it with my own eyes, live. But it wasn't enough because this 8” reflector has more capability.
So I started reading.....

Assemble the mount and scope for first time (15th jan.)


So I finally have it. After unboxing both the mount and the scope, I started reading the manual and put the whole thing together. Even though it doesn't have many parts, it took me a little while but eventually every bit found it's place. 

Immediately started practicing how to balance the scope and the counterweights after fitting the finder and an eyepiece.  By the way the whole equipment looked like this (although no finder and finderscope on these photos yet)

It went well too so nothing else left but waiting for a clear sky....