stars Our first adventures in Stargazing stars

We purchased a "Meade 114/900 EQ1-B with RA drive" telescope on 15 July 2003 Meade 114/900 telescope
Optical design 114 mm
Focal length 900 mm
Focal ratio 7.89 (f8)
Eyepiece 9 mm 100x
Eyepiece 25 mm 36x
Barlow 2x 72x & 200x
Resolution 1.21 arcseconds
Magnification 269 maximum
Limiting magnitude 12.8

The Sun

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: The Sun

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:

(72x magnification)
The Moon The Moon, also taken from the bedroom:

(36x magnification)
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

(36x magnification)
Mars enlarged 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:

(72x magnification)
Mars & Moons? 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
Mars 200x
Mars & Demios
Another try - a better disc this time - I think the collimation is about right, but the atmospherics are bad...

(200x magnification)

As before, Deimos can be seen, enlarged below
Mars 200x
Deimos Deimos and Mars; not too bad for 34.65 million miles away!
This picture comes from - not many markings to see - I need to get a filter or two.... Mars
The Moon 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!

(72x magnification)
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........)
Gareth at the telescope
Mars 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:
Mars & Deimos
Full Moon 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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Animated Mars