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LX600 Telescope picked up; Critters;
ETX-105PE Moon with Revolution Imager

Posted: 10 June 2016

Wednesday, 8 June 2016, some clouds began appearing from an approaching weather disturbance. That afternoon, in 100° heat, I packed up the accessories that came with the 12" LX600 telescope. Then the wife and I unmounted the 12" LX600 from the X-Wedge in the observatory and we placed the very heavy telescope into the shipping box. The naked telescope mount and the packed box outside of the observatory:

photo photo

I always keep original shipping boxes because you just never know if you will need them or not. The telescope was picked up on Thursday, 9 June.

This was a somewhat sad time. After getting the 12" LX600 in February 2016 and seeing its quality on "First Light", I was really excited to have upgraded to it. But, for whatever reason, something had changed with the telescope optics. So, it was time for it to go back to Meade (still under warranty). After Meade receives the telescope a replacement telescope will be shipped to me. I look forward to getting the new one and resuming my 12" LX600 visual and astrophotography pursuits. Thanks to Meade and OPT for the support.

Had some critter visitors come by in the afternoon on Thursday (click thumbnail for larger version):

photo photo photo

A little before sunset one of the deer came back. And then a bobcat came to get some water, with the deer keeping a watch on the bobcat. Busy day here! Too bad I couldn't get a photo of them!

With my primary telescope unavailable, I plan to do a lot of work with the ETX-105PE and Revolution Imager. Thursday evening was partly cloudy but with an approaching storm system I figured I had better get in some ETX work while I could.

Open: Thursday, 9 June 2016, 1926 MST
Temperature: 93°F
Session: 981
Conditions: Partly cloudy, hazy

Equipment Used:
AutoStar #497 handset
1.25" 26mm eyepiece
1.25" 3X TeleXtender

Revolution Imager

1934 MST: sunset.

As I was setting up the ETX-105PE on the observatory patio I saw one of the deer near the observatory. She wasn't happy when she saw me.

1935 MST: the clouds to the south were nicely illuminated:


Here is the ETX-105PE and Revolution Imager on the patio:


1951 MST: ETX ON. Since I was just going to view the Moon and some planets, I decided to just "fake" the AutoStar star alignment. 1956 MST: viewed the Moon, 56X and 170X. The views of the Moon were very good.

I then mounted the Revolution Imager (RI) camera on the ETX. I needed to add the RI focal reducer in order to get more of the Moon in the camera field-of-view. Once that was done I got more of the Moon but still not all of it, as seen in this photo of the RI display:


Without the focal reducer this is how the Moon appeared, centered on Mare Crisium:


I added the 3X TeleXtender for this view of Crater Petavius:


2023 MST: the Revolution Imager battery died. I had not charged it following previous uses with the 12" LX600 and ETX-105PE. The battery lasted a total of 4.5 hours on this charge.

I have updated the Revolution_Imager_settings.xlsx file with the settings for the Moon.

I removed the Revolution Imager camera from the telescope. 2035 MST: took a final look at the Moon, 56X.

Viewed Jupiter, 56X. Three moons were visible. Added the 3X TeleXtender (167X), which yielded a very nice view of the planet.

Next, viewed Mars, 56X and 170X. The view was especially good at 167X with some surface markings and the North Polar Cap visible. Clouds began encroaching on the planet so I moved on to Saturn.

Saturn, still low in the southeastern sky, was a good view at 56X and 170X. Cassini Division and the moon Titan were visible at 56X and 167X. With 56X the moon Rhea was also visible. The moons Dione and Tethys were lost in the planet's glare.

The Meade ETX-105PE continues to be an excellent telescope. I wish Meade had not discontinued it several years ago.

2054 MST: with clouds arriving at Saturn I began closing up for the night.

Close: Thursday, 9 June 2016, 2108 MST
Temperature: 77°F
Session Length: 1h 42m
Conditions: Partly cloudy

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