Short Session: New Eyepiece "First Light"
Posted: 14 November 2012
Cloudy skies kept me away from the observatory for several nights. And then on 10-11 November, I was at the 1st Annual Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo. I have posted a report with photos. I worked the OPT and SkyShed POD booths.
The night the Expo ended I was too pooped to open the observatory although it was clear (and cold). The next night the sky was cloudy. But the skies cleared on Tuesday, 13 November 2012, and I opened the observatory at 1806 MST, 62°F. Unfortunately, I had caught a cold at the Expo so the session was short. But I wanted to try out my new 2" Explore Scientific 9mm 100° eyepiece that I had purchased at the Expo:
At 1815 MST, I took a quick peek at M31, the Great Andromeda Galaxy, 77X in the 8" LX200-ACF. Twilight had not quite ended so the view of the galaxy was not ideal. I decided that the Double Cluster would make an ideal target for the new eyepiece. Viewed it at 77X with the 1.25" Meade Series 5000 26mm (77X). I then switched to the new eyepiece. I also compared the view to that of the 1.25" Meade Series 4000 9.7mm eyepiece (206X). Using the new 9mm eyepiece (222X), I also viewed M31, M45 (Pleiades), M57 (Ring Nebula), M13 (Great Globular Cluster in Hercules), and M92 (globular cluster).
It was getting very breezy, which wasn't helping my cold, so I decided to end the session. But "first light" with the new eyepiece was a success. I will spend more time with the new eyepiece on the next session, which may be awhile as several cloudy nights are forecast. I will post a full report on the 2" Explore Scientific 9mm 100° eyepiece when I get more experience with it. Stay tuned.
Closed the observatory at 1909 MST, 56°F.
I recently tested the iOS app "Night Modes" for iPhone astrophotography. My review is available on my ETX Site.
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