Last updated: 7 October 2003

Subject:	ETX70-AT Observations
Sent:	Sunday, October 5, 2003 18:54:28
From: (Ed Carlos)
It's been a while since I've sent anything.  That's because when I had
Meade replace my ETX 70AT three times between late last year early and
late spring this year.  I finally got a replacement back in March that
Meade had promissed was handpicked.   However by the time I got it, I
already bought a 130mm Mak Cass (not a Meade but a Chinese MCT from APM
Telescope), so I haven't had the time to use it.  The horrible weather
here in the East did not help as well.

I started thinking about selling it and posted the item in .  A prospective buyer had asked if I had tested the
scope since I received it.  I was embarass to say I haven't.  I may have
lost that transaction.  It did force me to bring out the ETX-70 and try
it out.  This way I can say yes to the next buyer.  Boy, I was glad I
did.  I had forgotten how well this scope was for the price.

Here's a report on that test.  It was very short because it got cloudy
right away.  Also, I did not want dew to accumulate on the scope.  In
anycase here's how the test went and if anyone is interested in buying
the setup they can email me.  I'll send the details of the sale as a
separate email.

Equipment and Location
ETX 70AT 350mm - ALT/AZ mode
Meade 25mm eyepiece
Oct 5 7:45PM - 8:45PM EST (All time are EST)
+40.8 degrees North Latitude
-74.3 degrees West Longitude

Observing Conditions
Temperature 45deg
Medium/Heavy Sky Polution from Newark and Morristown
Clear skies with very little patchy clouds became really cloudy around 9PM
Waxing Gibbous Moon 82% illumination SE - SSE

Setup telescope around 7:30PM.
Autostar was setup as new.  ETX-70, New Jersey, Morristown, Oct 5, 2003,
7:48PM, DST on.  Found northstar and pointed the scope to align north.
Aligned scope using "Easy" option.  Autostar selected,  located and
asked to center Altair for first alignment.   Altair was not in field of
view (FOV). Telescope was  adjusted to center and synchronize star. 
Autostar asked for (skipped because of tree and house obstructions
Alkaid, Eltamin) Alpheratz. Telescope needed to be adjusted to center
and synchronize Alpheratz. Autostar calculated position and alignment
was successful on first try.

GoTo and Tracking Test
First target: Moon - Autostar found and positioned the object within
field of view.  The moon was a little off center towards the north.
Second Target: Mars - Autostar located Mars easily and similarly placed
it within the field of view.  Once again it was a little off center
towards the north.  This means that Goto is consistent.  Mars was
manually centered and synchronized.  No details on Mars because of low
power eyepiece.
Third target M57 - see observations below.

--------------- Objects Near the Zenith ---------------
M57 Ring Nebula - Autostar located centered.  Not visible at first
sight, but stars Sulafat and Sheliak are very bright.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula - Bright nebula at first sight, clearly seen even
with moonlight.  Averted vision improves view.
Albeiro Binary Star - Very bright, clear separation of binary stars,
orange and blue color easily seen.
M39 Star Cluster - Very bright, wide FOV shows cluster at center with
star field surrounding it.
--------------- Objects very close to the horizon, light polution
becomes heavy  ---------------
M8 Lagoon Nebula/M20 Trifid Nebula - Star cluster visible and nebula was
washed out by moonlight and light polution.
M17 Swan Nebula - Seen only using averted vision.  Nebula looks like a
M16 Eagle Nebula - Also seen only with averted vision.  Stars seen with
very little effort but nebula clouds took extra effort
M11 Wild Duck Cluster - Star cluster visibile even without averted
vision. Nebula required averted vision
--------------- Bright Objects  ---------------
M15 Gobular Star Cluster - Very bright.  Cannot resolve any of the stars
with the cluster because of low power eye piece.
M31 Andromeda Galaxy - Core of galaxy is very bright.  Surrounding stars
are very visible.  M32 seems to be visible by averted vision but cannot
--------------- NGC Objects ----------------
All star clusters in the Cassiopeia constellation - pin point stars
NGC 7789
NGC 225
NGC 663
NGC 457

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