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Thread: Turning… but not a turning…

  1. #1

    Turning… but not a turning…

    A few weeks ago, George and my son and I repositioned the telescope’s primary mirror to correct a focusing issue. We had planned to get the scope out that weekend to see how it performed but things “came up” and we had to postpone. Last night (11/10) we got the scope out again. We had hoped to be able to view Saturn and Jupiter but they were both below the horizon so we just had a moon viewing. Everything worked well but the moon was almost full and very bright so it was hard to see a lot of detail.

    We were able to get some pictures using an old iPhone 4 and an adaptor. These are not what anyone would consider “professional” images and there are certainly better images of the moon available. But being able to take our own pictures using our own telescope was very satisfying. As with anything else, using a telescope involves a learning curve and we are, at this point, rank amateurs. But the learning is enjoyable and each new “discovery” adds to that enjoyment.




    David DeCristoforo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Very nice!!

    Years ago I bought an adapter to connect a Nikon 35mm through the scope lens but after playing with it a while I never really used it. I did enjoy shooting with the camera piggy-backed on the scope since it has a motor drive. I've shot solar eclipse events by holding a camera with a small objective lens up to a telescope eyepiece, and once we got an iPhone photo of the Andromeda galaxy by shooting through night-vision binoculars.

    Hey, as for the overly bright moon, did you try attenuating the light with a piece of cardboard? My scope is 8" diameter so I made a cardboard disk to cover the entire objective and cut a round hole in the cardboard off-center (the scope is a Schmidt-cassegrain with a central obstruction). This cuts the bright moon light WAY down until it is comfortable to view but doesn't appreciably decrease resolution. And it's free!

    BTW, the new moon will be centered on Nov 26 this month making things easier to see. Unfortunately, both Saturn and Jupiter set in the late evening but with it getting dark earlier there should still be time to see them if you have a good view towards the southwest. Jupiter sets first.

    One of my best telescope experiences was years ago with Saturn. I set up the telescope in the church parking lot and pointed it at Saturn so kids could come out and see. The rings were spectacular! I remember one boy looked through the scope then accused me of taping a picture to the front and went around to check! I let him move the fine controls to a start while watching to show him he really WAS looking a real planet. Jupiter and its moons are fun too. Comets are great too but nothing beats a solar eclipses since they are in the day time! - twice I've taken scopes to schools and classes would take turns coming out to look.


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