#3: First light of Saturn & Mars

07.09.2018

Saturn using occular projection and Canon PowerShot SX240 HS

New aspect: First images taken with the old Canon SX240HS

Acquisition:

So after a while the sky cleared. I had some friends on board and after viewing some targets of the late summer (M31 and M13) we switched to the planets.
First we found Saturn on the sky. If you see Saturn and its rings for the first time you will know what I mean with ‚we gazed at Saturn‘. It was a breathtaking view. A tiny dot on the sky turns into a rotating planet with moons and a beautiful ring! In a hurry I pointed my smartphone above the eyepiece and see: the first astro photo of my life was taken!

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#2: Skywatcher 750/150 PDS

Open Sky with Skywatcher 750/150 Newtonian PDS on EQ3 -Pro EQ-Mount

In summer 2018 I began my journey with the purchase of a skywatcher 750/150 PDS on a skywatcher EQ3 Pro mount. It came along with a 2″ 26mm eyepiece, a small finderscope, a 3x Barlow lens, a small 1 1/4″ 10mm eyepiece and other minor equipment. I added an adapter for compact cameras to try some ocular projection images. Basically you just hold the camera in front of the eyepiece and take a picture. The adapter helps keeping the right distant and the camera stable.

Why the skywatcher scope? I did a basic research and found that reflector scopes seems to be the best fitting beginner scopes. With a focal length of 750mm you can fit the moon in one frame but will still be able to capture distant galaxies as well. The diameter of 6″ and the EQ3 Pro was manly due to financially reasons. I found the scope as a set on the web store of a german retailer. It was all in all below 1k and seemed to be a good but inexpensive scope. The 750/150 OTA is still great but the mount will cause trouble in the future nights to come…

Assembling the scope was a nightmare. It came in two big boxes witch contained hundreds of small paper boxes, plastic bags, papers, instructions, info material, cables and other stuff. I had literally no idea what to expect and what to assemble. After a while I managed to get every pace into place and managed to get an idea of the movement of equatorial mounts. You can’t just turn them like regular camera tripods (alt az)… So without any idea I thought I would be ready for the first clear sky.

Chris

#1: Getting started

These are the very first words for my new blog. What do I aim to do with these blog posts? First of all I want to give the readers the opportunity to follow me on my astronomy path. They might be able to learn from mistakes I made, to feel the excitement I still feel with this hobby and just to have a second pool of experience. There are very few useful nights with clear skies. If one is able to read along a second set of nights that might be helpful.

„#1: Getting started“ weiterlesen