First views with the new scope

The clouds parted enough that I could drag the scope out on the driveway and try it out. “Drag” is the operative word, that thing is awkward to move. It needs handles on the side.

First up I viewed Vega, it’s the easiest thing for me to find and I wanted to test all the optics out. Focus seems sharp, the reflex spotter works as advertised, all good. I poked around Lyra a bit and found a double star that I think is one of the ones in the constellation, but I’m a bit confused now in what I saw.

After that I went to look at Jupiter and the Pleiades. Jupiter was very rewarding; 4 jewel like moons all in a string, and a nice little disc that clearly showed a couple of bands of gas clouds. Jupiter was terribly bright, the scope clearly collects enough light that I could magnify more.

The Pleiades were more confusing, I was having a hard time understanding scale. After some study on the charts on the phone I made out Alcyone thanks to the string of stars to the SE that leads to it. And from Alcyone, by inference, Merope. But I still don’t have my head quite around the reversed view. Also I didn’t see any sign of nebular clouds, maybe no surprise since it’s a crummy night and I wasn’t dark adapted.

Anyway, the scope works! Some things I need to do.. Do my research so I have goals on what to look for. Get some gloves to wear while outside touching the cold metal tube. Find some way to make better notes of what it is I’m seeing, maybe a database? And I think I’d like a wide angle eyepiece to make navigating easier while I’m learning.

PS: I saw a great meteor last night, very bright and low. Went from east to west, maybe a Geminid?

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