One thing I learned is that stargazing during the work week is very tough! You need a nap after work and even then your energy level is down, but I had to take advantage of the clear sky.
Once I got out there and set up, it was a fantastic time, and one that went on even longer than I planned. I played around more with the alignment process. Not polar alignment, but a 2 star with another calibration star in there. I used Castor, Procyon, and Arcturus. I can finally remember Gemini as PC (Political Correct or Pollux/Castor). Wont forget that now. Pneumonic’s are great way to learn and remember things! So just remember PC when looking at the Twins. What did I see last night?
- Moon- boy she was very bright last night. After looking at it I would see moon for a little while afterwards. My Celestron lunar filter doesn’t seem to fit onto the Ethos lens. Got to find another filter that will fit.
- Jupiter- Callisto was way, way out there last night. Way further than I’ve ever seen before. Seeing wasn’t too good. Couldn’t see the spot.
- Beehive cluster- My first Messier prize! Lot of equilateral type triangles in there and way cool to see. My wife really liked this one! Looked the best in the 20mm Plossl. So I suppose not everything can be viewed in the Ethos. I did slip it in and was able to get really close, but the 20mm really gave you a better appreciation for this object. I didn’t pay attention to the color as I was excited to just see it. From my location that was the only messier I could see as either the trees or the house blocked the others.
- Mars was peeking through the trees so I said, yeah why not let’s wait for you. So I went in and made some hot chocolate, as it was getting pretty chilly and then came out and there she was. My first encounter was low on the horizon, just above the trees. What did I see? An orange fuzz ball! seeing was terrible, but it was to be expected. Nonetheless I saw Mars through MY scope! Looking forward to better nights, higher up and better conditions.
- Now for the real challenge. I think my scope is aligned, let’s try finding a specific double star and then split it! Leo 54 was my target. I slew the scope to it, and used the 20mm to get it centered and then popped in the 3.7 and sure enough it split into two stars! Way, Way Cool!! I felt so good. The image was crystal clear and pinpoint. Fantastic way to end the night!
Planning for a night of observing? Seems like a thing to do now or at least look into it. Would make the evening either more productive or at least a to do list. Just hopping around is great, but….
Well, that’s all for now-