The telescope performed almost flawlessly
After months of less than desirable skies,I was finally able to set the scope up for some nightsky observing. While I was extremely happy to have the chance to observe I was also somewhat worried about the performance of my sleepy scope.As I have mentioned in the past,my scope seemed to have contracted the dreaded NSUS or “Noseeum Syndrome”.For those of you that are scratching your heads and saying,HUH??.NSUS is a phrase that I came up with because of the problems I have been having with my alignments.So after months of fretting and pacing about like a expectant father to be.The time had finally come to address the issue(s) and figure out how to resolve the alignment problem.After a very careful setup i.e tripod leveling,OTA balancing , polar alignment and the appropriate cool down time.I checked the information that I had previously entered into the handset (better safe than sorry!) and all was correct.I then entered the time,date and chose the 3 star alignment option which is best for pointing accuracy.When the third star was aquired and centered in the 26mm eyepiece, it was time to give the scope another shot at redemption.The moment of truth was at hand ,so with a deep breath I chose the guided tour option and away I went.The first object the Autostar chose was the moon and wouldn’t you know it.It aligned just out of FOV in which my heart just sank!.Not one to give up that easily,I chose another object and the autostar chose Saturn.With fingers crossed I pressed enter and the scope slewed right to it!.Boom,dead center of the eyepiece???!.What is going on?.The autostar won’t align on the moon but will on Saturn?.Hmmm,better try another object.I then slewed the scope to the Orion nebula.Not exactly centered but well within the FOV.With my hopes on their way up I slewed to Sirius and once again centered.At this point,I went on a full blown star hope and all centered within FOV.WOOHOO!!!!.Thinking that perhaps the autostar had a temporary glitch,I went back to the moon and it was still wayout of the eyepiece.Oh well,who cares,the moon through my scope is so bright I could close my eyes and center it.So it would seem that my alignment issues have been solved for the time being and as for my diagnosis….inconclusive!.My theory is that the problems stem from a daylight savings time and non day light savings time setting even though I had tried both back to back with the same results.
With my alignment problems seemingly behind me,my next question for myself was “am I going to have to retrain my eyes to see the fainter objects that people without telescope experience normally wouldn’t be able to detect?”. The answer is “NO!”which was just icing on the cake.The sky was clear and the seeing conditions were average but after a hour began to go down hill which added to the challenge.Regardless,I was able to see and image some of the fainter objects without much problem although, due to waning seeing conditions, light pollution began to invade my images giving them a ugly brownish red background color.Thank goodness for PS elements as I was able to eliminate a lot of the light pollution but the downside was a dramtic reduction in image quality or at least worse than normal.However,last night wasn’t about whether or not I could get a decent image but rather, working out the kinks that were plaguing my scope and in the end, my scope performed almost flawlessly.
Below is a shot of the Sombrero Galaxy that I took at 1am this morning.