Last updated: 8 February 2005
Subject: First Light Report - ETX-90EC Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 08:43:51 From: Javier Lopez (firstname.lastname@example.org) After a month and a half of doing my research I finally broke down and decided on a Meade ETX-90 as my first scope. I posted a thread on astromart's forum and asked for advice. One of my main concerns in picking a scope was portability. I needed something I could set up and break down easily since I don't have tons of free time. I broke down my choices between an Orion 6" DOB and a Meade ETX-90. I came very close to purchasing the DOB but at the last minute was able to find a steal on Ebay for an ETX and I went with that. For $425 I bought a mint condition, ETX-90 - UHTC with the Deluxe Field Tripod, Autostar, the 26mm and 9.7mm EPs, carrying case for the scope and tripod, plus some sky atlas and a red light flashlight. Not bad I thought. First light. I set up the scope in the home position, but haven't had the time to buy a compass I kind of pointed it in the general direction of Polaris. Went to Easy align, hit enter. Autostar looks for a guide star, picked Sirius and took off. Although Sirius was not in the EP it showed up in the finderscope. I centered the star in the EP hit enter. It searched for the next guide star, Pollux. Same thing, Pollux was not centered in the EP but showed up in the finderscope. I again jogged it to center it in the EP hit enter. "Alignment Successful!" Being the ultra-Amateur that I am I went straight for the Guided tour. First destination, Saturn. Press Go To and... Same thing, Saturn is not in the EP but shows up in the finderscope. I jogged it into place and there she was rings and all. Extremely bright, but very small in the 26mm EP. Could not make out any detail. I tried the 9.7mm EP and the size increased but it was still difficult to see much detail. I could barely see the division in Saturn's rings. I couldn't see any surface detail on Saturn itself, but I'm thinking I may need a filter of some sort. Saturn was extremely bright! Next Stop Sirius, I saw that during the alignment process, very bright. Betelgeuse, very red & bright. Orion Nebula. Not bad I didn't expect to be able to see Nebula from my backyard. Although I live 25 miles south of Miami, there is a glow from the city that in unmistakable. I will be buying a compass this week and see if I can't get my alignment problems resolved. I was more impressed with the sharpness of the optics. The 9.7mm EP is the greatest but the 26mm is very, very crisp. I think I may get me a #126 Barlow next. Either way. That's my report. Thanks for all of the great info on your site. It really did help me feel good about deciding on the ETX as my first scope. Now I need to find a dark spot so that I can go nebula & Galaxy hunting! Regards, Javier LopezMike here: Congrats and welcome to the Universe! As to a compass, save your money. If you can see Polaris, just use that. You want to align on True North, not Magnetic North. Polaris is within a degree of the North Celestial Pole so is a better indicator of True North than a compass which shows Magnetic North, which can differ by up to almost 20 degrees from True North, depending upon your location.
Return to the top of this page.
Go back to the User Observations page.
Go back to my ETX Home Page.