Flintstone Stargazing

December 16, 2009

First light with my Maksutov-Cassegrain

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 10:06 pm

This new scope is going to be wonderful, particularly when it comes to visual observing. It’s so much lighter than my big 8″ that I actually had to completely remove one of the counterweights. The view of Jupiter was great. It took a while to cool down (and I don’t think I waited until it was completely cooled down to take this image), but the views are just incredibly sharp – very, very nice.

Only real problem so far is that I need to put a guide scope on this thing – it’s hard to find stuff without one, though I did manage eventually.

After aligning, I immediately sent the scope to Jupiter and the magnification with my 26mm eyepiece was much higher than my 8″ (it’s focal length is more than twice as long) and the sharpness was just fantastic. I tested collimation by going inside and outside of focus on Vega and it looked dead on. So far, I’m really thinking I’m going to like this scope.

After viewing (and, obviously, imaging) Jupiter for a while, I decided to take a look at some deep sky stuff. M57, the Ring Nebula was clearly defined in shape and easily visible. M27, the Dumbbell Nebula was also large and bright in the scope. M31, the Andromeda Galaxy looked nice as well and M2, a globular cluster, was nice. Once I started looking at open clusters however, the scope really began to shine. The Pleiades were bright and beautiful, but the Double Cluster was just breathtaking. I’ve never seen it look so beautiful – it looked absolutely 3D.

Again, I think I’m going to love this scope.


1 Comment »

  1. I just moved up from a 6″ Newt to a 10″ SCT. I know what you mean… the new views are amazing. I never suffered much from apeture fever until now.

    Comment by David Parmet — December 17, 2009 @ 11:34 am

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