Saturday, October 18, 2008

Looking at the moon

Yes, this is a live report! Now, it's 01:00 at night and I am sitting next to my scope writing this article. The 21cm Dall Kirkham is positioned towards the moon. The Posidonius crater is in the eyepiece and it looks marvelous! This large crater is at the nothern edge of the Sea Of Serenity, on the western edge of Mare Serenitatis, to the south of Lacus Somniorum. The diameter of Posidonius is 100km and it has a depth of 2,3km. It is partly filled with mare material. The photo attached is taken just a few minutes ago with my Philips webcam at a focal length of 2400mm!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Aligning the north celestial pole

The last time aligned my telescope mount to the north celestial pole was three years ago, as I was trying to find the point, where the sky does not rotate. It wasn't an easy job for a PAB (Pole Alignment Beginner), although my good G11 polar scope was a real help. Finally I did it and it was a joy to make long exposures with my telescope. Now after the recostruction of my observatory I had to build up the system and align it again. Hence, another alignment odyssey has started. I tried with Holger to aligh my mount using a smart shareware program called WCS. For a better understanding I also downloaded a demo version of PEMPro and tried to evaluate the quality of my mount with it.

Thanks to Holger for his great help.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Looking at the stars again

Last night, after finishing the reconstruction of my roof observatory, I again glanced at the stars using my 21cm Dall Kirkham telescope. For the first time in my life, I tried the GoTo capabilities of a telescope and wow! .. what a feeling to find the stars by just pressing a key!

Here some amazing objects I observed:
  • the open clusters M38 and M37 in Auriga. That was a breathtaking view, since countless stars were twinkling like diamonds in the sky.
  • the open cluster M34 in Perseus. Low magnification is required here.
  • Bode's galaxy M81 and the cigar galaxy M82 in Ursa Major at 60x magnification. Last time I observed them was 2005 using my TAL-2M (15cm, f/8) Newton telescope.
  • The sun-like star Epsilon Eridani. Unfortunately, I couldn't see its exoplanet ;-)
  • The supernova remnant M1. It was like a small cloud with a clear shape in black & white.