Last updated: 13 November 2001

Subject:	ETX-70AT Encouragement
Sent:	Saturday, November 10, 2001 12:40:29
From:	thomas.henry@magician.org (Thomas Henry)
Most of my recent postings have concerned things that go wrong with the
ETX-70AT.  It strikes me that newcomers might want to hear some of the
things that go right.  To encourage you a bit, here are the objects I've
observed over the past week.  Notice that I observe from the middle of a
city of 40,000, in a backyard with a limited opening (I'm penned in by
buildings on all four sides).  If I can do it, so can you!

Solar System: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Vesta, Comet Linear WM1

Messier: 27 (Dumbell Nebula), 57 (Ring Nebula), 71, 56, 29, 39, 52, 103,
31 (Andromeda Galaxy), 32, 110, 2, 15, 1, 33, 13, 92, 38, 36, 37, 34, 42
(Great Orion Nebula), 43, 45 (Pleiades)

NGC: Double Cluster, 663

Doubles: EPS LYR (the Double-Double), IOT TRI, GAM ARI, Trapezium

Some of these were extremely faint, of course (like M33).  But many put
on a great show (like the Dumbell, Ring, Great Orion).  In all cases,
however, I was really able to enjoy the sky show and improve my seeing

My favorite projects so far have been plotting (sketching) the paths of
Comet Linear WM1 and Vesta.  Vesta is already in the Autostar, but if
you'd like to try the comet (which does have a coma or tail already),
here are elements that you can enter yourself:

Name:             Linear WM1
Epoch of El.:     22-Jan-2002
Perihelion Dist.: +0.555366
Eccentricity:     +1.000281
Arg. of Per.:     +276.7703
Lon. Asc. Node:   +237.8964
Inclination:      +072.5514
Absolute Mag.:    +07.50

My work with doubles has been very satisfying.  I was able to split all
four components in the Double-Double one night, at 116X (a 6mm ocular
plus a 2X barlow), but not on the other nights.  That seems to be the
limit of my scope.  I'm starting to store the coordinates of a number of
doubles in my Autostar; amazingly, it's missing some of the more
interesting ones.

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of what you can do with a little
70mm refractor!  Despite all this, I'm still not happy with the
chromatic aberration on mine (it's totally useless during the day, on
planets and the moon) and will be returning it to Meade under warranty. 
If I can overcome that problem, then I'll feel I've got a real winner!

Best wishes,

Thomas Henry

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