Orion 80mm ED with SkyView Pro mount
Comupterized Hand Controller (13,564 object database)
Orion 80mm ED Optical Tube Assembly (OTA)
Well gang, here is the new telescope. I sold both my ETX-125 and my 8" StarHopper Dobsonian to buy this one. Both other scopes were stellar viewing scopes, but I wanted something that I could use for long-exposure astrophotography.
Enter the Orion 80mm ED telescope sitting atop an Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial mount. The scope is just over 3 inches in diameter, but it works better with my camera for photographing Deep Space Objects such as: galaxies, nebula and star clusters.
When the weather clears this weekend, I will attempt to snap some celestial pictures.
Until the next time!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
M42 - Orion Nebula (from picasaweb.google.com)
M44 - Beehive Star Cluster (from http://www.astropix.com/)
M45 - The Pleiades Star Cluster (from http://www.astropix.com/)
M81 & M82 Galaxies (from http://www.astropix.com/)
Saturn (from apod.nasa.gov)
IC434 HorseHead Nebula (In Orion) (from http://www.astropix.com/)
First Light is a "time honored" tradition carried out by Backyard and Amateur Astronomers. It is marked by the first night an astronomer 'gathers light' , or looks through a new telescope. You can read all the reviews you want, but you never really know how a scope is going to perform until you point at a celestial object and look through the eyepiece.
On February 25th at 7:30PM I gathered 'First Light' in my new Orion 80mm ED on a SkyView Pro Goto mount. There was a narrow period of 'somewhat' cloudless skies between frontal systems, so I took advantage of the opportunity before the 'white puffies' moved back in.
I performed my first-ever polar alignment (pointing the telescope at Polaris), then let the Goto mount do the rest. I dialed in Messier Object M44 (Beehive Star Cluster) into the computerized hand controller and pressed 'Enter'. The motors quietly whirred for 30 seconds or so, then the hand controller 'beeped' to tell me I had arrived at my celestial destination.
As I looked into the 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, M44 was glistening at me with a cluster of bright and faint stars.
After observing M44 for a time, I took a tour of the sky to view other familiar space objects. Here are the highlights of what I observed:
- M42 (Orion Nebula) looked light-gray and pale-blue. I was able to resolve the four major and two faint stars of the trapezium, which looked razor-sharp. I stared at it for several minutes.
- M45 (The Pleiades) looked grand as ever, and I was surprised to see some nebulosity surrounding the 'Seven Sisters' with the telescope aided eye.
- M81 and M82 (Galaxies) looked great. Just as I thought they may appear through an eyepiece. I will have to study the galaxies individually some time.
- Saturn looked like someone painted the ringed planet onto the end of my scope. I saw faint hints of the Cassini Divide, but clearly saw lines in the planet's atmosphere and even saw the black of space between the rings and the planet.
- However, when I dialed up IC434 (Horsehead Nebula) clouds moved in and ended my session after 45 minutes. It was a memorable 'First Light' with my Orion 80mm ED.
I look forward to many more viewing and astrophotography sessions with my new scope. I didn't do any astrophotography this night, because I just wanted to enjoy the view of celestial objects from the new scope.
Question: You may wonder why I didn't do a 'First Light' report when I bought my ETX-125 ?
Answer: I didn't know about First Light, and I wasn't running a BLOG.
The pictures are stock photos from the Internet. (Most are from http://www.astropix.com/). I posted them to give readers a sample of the views I saw through my telescope eyepiece. Most pictures are representative of what I saw, exept for the starbursts in M45 and the detail in Saturn.
I plan to take high quality pictures of these heavenly objects some day, but I didn't want to complicate the experience of 'First Light' with my new scope and mount.
Thanks for Checking In!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
My first goal is to photograph as many of the Messier Objects as one can see in the Northern Hemisphere. It will take time, persistence and patience, but that is half the fun.
I installed the motors and computer on the new telescope this weekend (Orion 80mm ED with SkyView Pro GOTO Mount), now I am waiting for the clouds to part so I can actually use the scope. I will let you all know how that goes.
P.S. - To the ETX-125's new owners: "It doesn't need a night light. My experience has been that it prefers the dark". (May you get the enjoyment out of the scope that I did, and did I ever enjoy it)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
P.S. - After the skies clear this weekend I'll have my new telescope back out learning how to use it. Soooooooo, hopefully there will be many more descent quality pictures of celestial objects to follow.
Posted by Star Pilot at 6:19 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Look to the Heavens! A new Star is Shining the Night Sky. My Brother Butch is looking upon us from his Celestial Home.