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Old 26-07-2008, 10:16 PM
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AlexN
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Oh how I love my Go-To !

Well.. A night that started out with hopes of imaging Jupiter...

Beautiful clear skies at 5:30pm, Scope was set up and 3 star alignment completed by 6, a bit of a tinker with drift alignment just to get a bit closer... then went inside for an hour or so until it got suitably dark outside and the scope had time to cool down.

I went back out at 7:30 to see Jupiter at around 50 degrees so I wacked in the webcam and noticed the seeing was VERY AVERAGE! So I thought to myself... hrmmm.. I havent played with the tour mode on my EQ6 pro yet....

So I wacked in my 30mm ep, hit tour and started off...

M8 : Landed smack bang in the center of the eyepiece.. I fitted my UHC filter to get a better look... It was as beautiful as ever.

M16 : again. dead center of the eyepiece.. Having never looked at M16 with the UHC filter, I was pretty shocked at how much of a difference it made. I could make out some finer detail, but I think light pollution was winning the battle.

M83 : Need I say it, It landed firmly in the center of the eyepiece (Im starting to wonder how I ever did without go-to) I removed the UHC to get a better look at it... I found 30mm wasnt quite close enough so I switched to a 10mm, which seemed too close, but found a nice happy medium with the 25mm + 2x barlow. The view was stunning, very contrasty and some structure was easily seen even in my light polluted suburban site.

The night continued much this way past M104, Eta Carine, Centaurs A, M17, M6, M7, M22, Omega Cent, Jewel box and a few other clusters... Then it took me to NGC2070, the tarantula. I peered into the ep... and thought "whats this?? its missed??" I looked away from the ep and in the general direction the scope was pointing to be greeted by a nice thick band of cloud coming my way from the south..

I quickly packed up the scope, laptop, and all the other gear, slipped the waterproof cover over the mount (i dont move it much as I suck at polar alignment.. ) and headed back inside...

All in all, a night that did not go as planned but was the perfect way to spend a few hours.

Incredibly enjoyable.

Alex.
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  #2  
Old 26-07-2008, 10:35 PM
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Miaplacidus (Brian)
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Nice.

I used my go-nowhere scope last night just to go out and spend an hour on Jupiter. 8/10 seeing, and the scope seemed to be cooled sufficiently within a few minutes. Used the 5 mm LVW, nudged it easily, did a little sketch. I love the plonk and point aspect of that, and if I hadn't had the dob I doubt I would have bothered setting up the ETX (which just makes me sound lazy, I know).

But for some nights, longer sessions, it is just so nice to have a scope that obediently goes where the fancy takes you. (Nice, too, if you are sharing the eyepiece around.) I would really like something like an LX90. Then the 16 inch dob on a tracking platform. Inside the observatory, of course....

One day, I guess.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you had a good evening. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,

Brian.
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Old 27-07-2008, 06:39 AM
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Excellent report Alex. Sounds like a great night.

I can live without the goto as i enjoy the hunt, but the auto tracking must be a godsend. Especially as you said if your showing someone around the sky. No endless readjusting etc etc. Sketching would become much easier also, no juggling folder, pencil, adjust the scope, etc etc etc.

Once again great read, thanks for sharing. Look forward to hearing more, (on nights when the seeing isn't good for imaging of course.
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Old 27-07-2008, 09:12 AM
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Tilt (Michael)
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Great report and good to hear the EQ6 is going well.

I'm still waiting on a set of tube rings before I can mount my GSO 10" onto the EQ6, I'll have a go of the sky tour when I get it set up.

Michael
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Old 27-07-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
Scope was set up and 3 star alignment completed by 6, a bit of a tinker with drift alignment just to get a bit closer...
I was always of the impression you do the drift align before doing the star alignment in the hand controller

I thought you got your polar alignment right....prior to doing the star alignment...???

Anyhoo.. Glad you had a great night and it worked for you.

I also like my EQ6 with SynScan.
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Old 27-07-2008, 12:28 PM
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yeah... im not saying i did it the right way.. thats just how i did it..

worked well obviously... targets all hit dead center of the ep after a slew and stayed there for quite some time... Jupiter would stay on the ccd for 5-6 minutes at 6.3m focal length..

If it clears up tonight I'll be out with the 70-200f/4L to attempt a few more shots of M8/M20.. Or perhaps something else.. Ya never know

with a 200mm focal length i should be able to push for 1 minute unguided exposures if i was getting 6minutes on jupiter at 6300mm (with the very small ccd in the toucam..)
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Old 27-07-2008, 01:33 PM
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Nice write up Alex, sounds like you had a great night of observing. I honestly don't know where I would be without GOTOs. It really makes this finding objects that much easier.

My EQ6's GOTO's a very accurate when I carefully centre the alignment stars. It always puts the object in the FOV and it once even put Jupiter on my DMK's CDD chip.

I always polar align before doing a star alignment but I guess "if it aint broke don't fix it" in your situation.

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Old 27-07-2008, 01:39 PM
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see... its that kind of info that I need more of.. I didnt know it was better to do it one way over the other... heh... Learn at astrofest, I will !

Landing jup on the CCD!! wow.. thats some serious pointing accuracy!!
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Old 27-07-2008, 01:54 PM
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Matty P (Matt)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
Landing jup on the CCD!! wow.. thats some serious pointing accuracy!!
It was more of a fluke than anything else methinks. It has only happened once and I don't think it is going to happen again anytime soon.
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Old 27-07-2008, 02:11 PM
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Glad to see that someone is getting some good observing in, weather is crap over here. Sounds like you had a great time Alex.

Thanks for the post, it made a most pleasant read.
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Old 27-07-2008, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
see... its that kind of info that I need more of.. I didnt know it was better to do it one way over the other... heh... Learn at astrofest, I will !

Landing jup on the CCD!! wow.. thats some serious pointing accuracy!!
But I told you in the fifth post!
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Old 27-07-2008, 02:29 PM
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yes yes! and i was referring to both posts...

as far as polar alignment and drift alignment is concerned, i know nothing other than whats in the manual for the mount. which says to center polaris in the polar scope... uhh.. yeah, right sweet...
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Old 27-07-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
as far as polar alignment and drift alignment is concerned, i know nothing other than whats in the manual for the mount. which says to center polaris in the polar scope... uhh.. yeah, right sweet...
Do your research.

Do a search on this site and you'll find plenty of reference material on drift and polar aligning. There's also tons of info on the internet.

It's easy once you take the time to familiarise and practice.

I've owned an EQ6 for about three years, but didn't really begin to appreciate its capabilities until I managed to get a good polar alignment.

It certainly makes life pleasant, especially when you're planetary imaging and have to do other things all at once like changing filters etc

Last edited by matt; 27-07-2008 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 27-07-2008, 02:38 PM
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I just do a quick polar align, then a 1 star align right after that. Pretty much spot on with the GO-TO from there.
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