Our first adventures in Stargazing
|We purchased a "Meade 114/900 EQ1-B with RA drive" telescope on 15 July 2003|
|The Sun - an image taken by the "Great Bear Solar Observatory", at exactly the same time as we observed in from our garden, 02/08/03, 16:05pm, showing the sunspots as we saw them:|
Using a "Dexxa" webcam, I was able to obtain the following images
(getting "up" to be up with the webcam is very difficult!):
|Altair, in the constellation Aquila, taken
from our upstairs bedroom window. Faint star images of the Milky Way can
be seen in the background:
|The Moon, also taken from the bedroom:
|Mars, on it's closest aproach to earth for
60,000 years, taken from our usual spot! The light pollution from
Cardiff to the south was dreadful - hopefully I'll get a clearer view
some time later in the next month
|This is an enlarged view from the above picture, showing the "red planet" and the white pole towards the top|
|This time, the atmospheric
conditions prevented me getting a good clear disk, and I think the
collimation is out (it got knocked...) However, when this picture is
enlarged, a couple of stars can be seen - as shown below:
|On the left; SAO 165129 (7.2mag) and underneath; SAO 165181 (6.7mag) (this image has been turned so that it is more or less the right way up)|
|A better view - 200x - but I
think the collimation is not quite right... yet...
I'll keep trying!!
Enlarged, this shows the martian moon Deimos; shown below
|Another try - a better disc
this time - I think the collimation is about right, but the atmospherics
As before, Deimos can be seen, enlarged below
|Deimos and Mars; not too bad for 34.65 million miles away!|
|This picture comes from www.space.com - not many markings to see - I need to get a filter or two....|
|For a change, here is a view of the moon.
Focusing the webcam is difficult - at the moment it's simply held
against the eyepiece.
The "Sea of Tranquility" is in the middle of this view. We nearly got it upright!
|And here is Gareth - he helped
me take the moon picture above...
This shows the main problems we have - in order to take the pictures, I need to be close to the computer. Naturally the room is warmer than outside, and cutting out all the light is next to impossible. So we have to cope with light pollution and atmospheric disturbance!! (Until I'm allowed to obtain a laptop........)
|Another view of Mars, 72x magnification.
I've enlarged it below, and taken out the blue haze - surface markings can be seen, as well as Deimos again:
|The full Moon, 72x magnification.
I've left this picture in as it gave me an expensive lesson - don't forget to take a moon filter off before observing the Sun; the mark across the view is one of the cracks in the filter.....
More pictures are on the next page...
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