March 2010

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Near Disaster!

When attempting orthogonality adjustment, the OTA slipped in the dovetail plates causing the imaging train to crash into the fork hub.  There is minor cosmetic damage to the hub and the Meade 5000 diagonal which is at the end of the imaging train.  The impact also displaced the set screws in various components of the VSI SuperStack.  These can be easily reset.

I'll have to think about some sort of fine, push-pull adjustment screws to move, and prevent, the OTA from slipping in the dovetails.

First Visitors

Our neighbours, Debbie and Les, came over at about 9 PM for a look at and through the telescope.  After a brief explanation of the control room, dome, telescope, etc., I showed them M42, Saturn and Mars.  The seeing was bad so the views were not good.  In turns out that Les is a kindred spirit; loves space and wish he could have been an astronaut in NASA.

First Light!

It's clear now, so I get to have "First Light" with the new telescope and mount, as well as check the orthogonality of the forks (adjustments will be required).

12:02 AM First light - Regulus, Algieba, NGC 3227-3226 with 31 and 17 mm Naglers - SPECTACULAR!

2:50 AM: Slewed to Arcturus, sync'd, initiated GTO M3. Very close w/o polar alignment with 17 mm Nagler.  The globular looks GREAT with this scope!

3:13 AM: Telescope shut down and domed closed.

Mount and OTA Move to the Observatory

Moving the mount and OTA to the observatory was a milestone, so tonight I provided a detailed account.

6 PM: I disassembled the OTA and mount in my office.  It took about 45 minutes.  Broke for supper.