Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First evening with my new telescope

At last a cloudless evening so I could get my new telescope properly set up. I've never used one before so all the dials and gears and whatnot was all kind off confusing.

Reading the manual and browsing through the user guide helped somewhat, but remembering the 'leftover' items from the assembly helped even more. I can now also adjust the altitude of the telescope ;-)
And turning the finderscope (red dot sight) the right way around also helped a lot. After aligning it with the tube I'm now able to aim the telescope at pretty much anything I can see within seconds.

I managed to get a great view of Jupiter and the 3 of the 4 largest moons (Io was behind Jupiter at the time) and I was amazed at how cool it looks through a telescope. Instead of being just a blurry dot in the sky, the planet and the moons were very clear and easily separable.
It was quite early in the evening at this point and not much else was visible from where I was.

The Moon
Except of course for the full moon which is always amazing. Observing the moon at high magnifications is almost painful when it is this bright. It's incredible.
The telescope did give me an amazing view of the moon though and I know I'm going to spend a lot of time staring at the Moon through the scope.

But a full moon tends to screw up things when you want to look at the sky. The extreme brightness of the moon obscures everything else (except for the brightest objects). Combined with the ever-present yellow haze of the city and I decided to wait until I've moved further away (in a month or so).
Just look at how clearly the clouds are visible in this picture (taken at about 22:10). The moon lights up most of the the sky in the picture (which was taken through a window), where the moon is the huge white blob at the top.