Last updated: 16 February 2003
Subject:	My first light with the ETX125
Sent:	Saturday, February 15, 2003 17:38:36
From: (Jan Damhof)
Just dropping a note about what a great observation session I had with
my new ETX125.

I waited 3 month for my etx to arrive, and the longer you have to wait
and read about other peoples experience with the ETX125 the more you
expect from the scope.

Last Monday I finally had the chance to take my etx for a ride ! I had
the moon, some clouds and  city lights so not the best conditions.  I
had my first look at Jupiter, Saturn, Orion etc.. well what can say. My
girl was surprised not seeing me jumping around of joy.  It was nice,
but not yet what I expected.

The second night was already better, the weather was the same but, I
started to know my ETX and started to learn how to us it !

But then there was the third night:

From my observation notes on my site:

Thursday 9:00
"The sky is very clear now, but the moon is in the sky and 3/4 so no deepsky for the next few days.

I did a Goto tour that went very well, He did put al the objects nice
centered in the finder and almost all the time in the 26mm eyepiece. the
planet were the best of this tour because of the seeing conditions, but
there were some nice star clusters to ! And an old friend of my : NGC 
869 and NGC  884 in Constellation Perseus, brought back some memories
about the first time I played around with a borrowed telescope 15 year
ago :)

Around 9:00PM I had a look at Jupiter, and I noticed that one moon was
very close to the edge of Jupiter. when I looked again 1 hour later I
noticed two shadows on the surface of Jupiter. On real black spot  and a
light one. Checking a Jupiter moon calendar it seems that the moon
Ganymedes was passing Jupiter and that both Ganymedes and it's shadow
should be visible in a good telescope. And sure they were visible !!
Woow great ! , I hoped that is was possible to see the moons of Jupiter
like this but to be honest didn't expect it to be like this ! The moon
is a real little disk, Ok .. you have to look very good and concentrate
but it's definitely an disk. My Jupiter moon calendar told me that this
transition should last till 2:00am. I got the day off tomorrow so I'm
not going anywhere  ! Going back inside now and then ( it was getting
cold outside with a freezing -4 Celsius ) I was struck with the feeling
of a "connection" of what was live going on outside, up there in the
sky, 647.000.000 Km away from my garden. This feeling is were I bought
my telescope for !! Around 1:00am the lighter disk ( Ganymedes self )
was not visible anymore, but I should become visible again as soon it
"leaves" the surface of Jupiter. I decided to keep a constant eye on
Jupiter from now on to see if I good observe the first gimps of
Ganymedes "leaving"Jupiter. After a few minutes I indeed saw ganymedes
appear as a little "bump" on the left site of Jupiter. In a few minutes
time Ganymedes was "lose" again from Jupiter. I witnessed the live
movement of a moon so fare away, I'm Impressed.

I Managed to make a nice picture of Ganymedes a few minutes after
"leaving" Jupiter. Get better with my camera BTW :) but definitely need
a T-connector and adapter for my G2, I toke these pictures on a camera
tripod setup.

What did I learn for so fare about my ETX. First I need some dark skies
to have a good view of Deepsky object. Second you really have to learn
how to use a telescope and how to observe with it. Just looking for a
few seconds into the eyepiece will not give you what your are looking
for ( maybe with the moon )  You will need to take your time to look
"through" the unstable air, have darkness adapted eye's and the
knowledge what to look for to get the best results for your
observations. ( there is an good article about that on weasners site )

I still need some moon less night out in the fields to see what I get
under dark sky conditions, But for so far I think I gonna have lot's of
fun with this Telescope !"


There is still one Questioning I got, I did try to look at some bright
double stars, but was unable to get a sharp view of it. They had a lot
of "little sparkeling flames". The star clusters got nice little points,
the sharpness of the moon and Jupiter changed with in the sec by the
influence  of the atmosphere but were some time very sharp so the optics
of the scope seems ok. But the brighter stars were hard to get a got
focus on.  Is this because the seeing is bad ? or should I worry about
my optics. maybe the eyepieces ?

I added the Image I made of Jupiter and ganymedes, maybe you can put it
on your planet image page, It's a stacked picture of the best 4 out of
10. I used registax.

I gonna have more info on my site

thx for your great site ! 

Mike here: "Twinkling stars" may be caused by thermal currents inside the telescope tube or other factors that can affect seeing, such as heat from rooftops, pavement, etc. as well as normal atmospheric conditions.

Return to the top of this page.

Go back to the User Observations page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2003 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittals Copyright © 2003 by the Submitter