Saturday, April 9, 2016

April 6, 2016 Getting the GEM setup with the NexStar 8iSE scope

Warm weather moved into the interior of Oregon and so I headed out to the obs to do some aligning of my new setup.
I demounted the optical telescope assembly of the Celestron NexStar 8iSE (OTA, in other words, the telescope itself) from the alt/az mount it came with and put a dovetail bar on it. Then I was able to attach it to my LXD75 German equatorial mount (GEM).

Since the tripod legs of the GEM needed to be isolated from the obs floor, I cut three 12"x12" holes in the floor, inserted the needed concrete pads, and placed the GEM on them. Now if I breathe the image in the scope doesn't jump around !
But as far as polar alignment was concerned I just guessed where to put the mount on the concrete pads, leveled the mount, and figured I would have to take a good portion of the evening of April 6th just trying to get it aligned.
But to my absolute surprise, when I turned the mount on, and pointed the scope at Jupiter it stayed in the field of view at low power. So I tried higher power. It stayed! So I tried it at even higher power with my Mallincam Micro-EX astrovideo camera (which has a very narrow field of view when using it at the prime focus of the telescope... and it pretty much stayed in the field of view even then!
Talk about getting lucky !

I will post the results when I update this page in a couple of days.

Jupiter wasn't really clear as the winds aloft were blurring detail, yet I was able in those brief moments of stillness to see the shadow of Jupiter's moon, Io, as it slowly crossed the planet's disk.
That was a first for me and I shared it on Night Skies Network with a few of my online friends from New Zealand, Australia, and others around the world. 

1 comment:

  1. Luck, good guessing, God's blessing! Nice setup. Now you can breathe.