Tonight it was clear. Or at least it was “clear.” There was a high, thin, persistent haze that never went away all night. Damned Weather Channel, screwed me again! At least I got a chance to test out the Ultrascopic Barlow on the Mak. And it worked perfectly. As I noted in yesterday’s post, I […]Read more "December 26, 2014 – Upgrading the Mak, part 4A – mounting the ST-80, Barlow"
I received my GSO dielectric diagonal from Agena on Friday the 19th. The weather reports were for clear skies, and I was eager to go out and have my compare/contrast contest between the old diagonal, which supposedly is only 90-91% reflective, and the new, which is supposed to be 99%. However, the weather reports were spectacularly […]Read more "December 25, 2014 – Upgrading the Mak, Part 4 – Diagonals, ST-80"
Before I get to the main topic, let me just do a quick recap of my observing session last night. I went out to take another look at Jupiter, to see both the Great Red Spot, and a transit of Europa. According to this listing from Sky & Telescope, the Great Red Spot was supposed to be […]Read more "December 16, 2014 – What is “light-polluted astronomy”? What’s with that hyphen? And Europa’s shadow!!!"
As promised, I can finally give you the lowdown on how good the TeleVue Plossl is. It ain’t worth it. I observed Jupiter tonight, for almost a solid hour, with a couple of breaks for the Geminid meteor shower. (I only saw one, out of the corner of my eye.) I switched back and forth […]Read more "December 14, 2014 – Upgrading the Mak, Part 3A – 8mm TeleVue Plossl vs. 9.7mm Meade 4000 SuperPlossl, Bahtinov mask, Lord mask, diagonals"
Well after 9 days of clouds, I finally got to go out and use my brand new eyepiece, an 8mm TeleVue Plossl that I picked up for just 50 bucks on eBay – which is one helluva bargain, almost half-price. The clouds didn’t start clearing until late in the night, so I wasn’t able to […]Read more "December 12, 2014 – Upgrading the Mak, Part 3 – 8mm TeleVue Plossl, filter"
The Mak comes with what’s called a red-dot finder. This is a small – and inexpensive – device that projects a small red dot onto a clear flat surface through which you can see the sky behind it. You use the RDF to align what you see in the sky with what’s seen in the […]Read more "December 6, 2014: Upgrading the Mak, Part 2 – finderscope, high-powered eyepieces"
When I got the Mak, I still had 3 eyepieces that I had used with my Bird-Jones scope – the 26mm and 9.7mm Meade 4000 Super Plossls that came stock with the scope, and a 4mm Celestron Omni Plossl that I had bought to get some high power out of the Bird-Jones. See, back in […]Read more "December 5, 2014 – Upgrading the Mak, Part 1: eyepieces, the mount, and dew"