My new telescope finally arrived last week.
Regular readers will know that I have taken up astrophotography and astronomy. My intention is to do them both when out on overnight up-river voyages in Arwen. There are one or two lovely, relatively dark sky, spots up the Lynher and Tamar and on gentle breeze days I might take either the Ioptron skytracker pro or the telescope with me. I am just working on how to safely keep them waterproofed and securely stored out of harm's way in Arwen. There again I might only take the skytracker as that is lightweight, small and portable. (You can read about that by referring back a couple of posts).
So, over the last few nights of clear skies I have been down to a local beach spot where the light pollution from the city is less. I can sit in the boot of the car, with the boot door raised above me and have telescope and ioptron tracker set up on tripods outside.
It has, putting it mildly, been an interesting learning curve these last few nights. A good job I am a life time learning fan! Thus far, I have made some simple basic errors but had lots of fun and some good learning experiences:
- tripping over the tripods or knocking them when moving around - I am innately clumsy
- not getting the tripods level at the start
- not adjusting and calibrating my phone correctly so that the GOTO mount was out in its own tracking of stars and galaxies - that was a frustrating hour and a half trying to work out why the telescope pointed 90 degrees away from the object I had commanded it to GOTO 😕
- forgetting to set my phone to a red night setting, so every time I referred to one of the apps - it lit up bright white and ruined my night vision, which I had spent the last 30 minutes building up
- not calibrating the skytracker correctly so that the 200 x 2 minute photos I took were all out with elongated stars - that's over two hours of my life I won't get back again 😭
- watching the power cable from the powertank to the GOTO mount, wrap itself around the tripod as I made the telescope change various directions - that was a cable knot that took some sorting!
- not being able to set the camera and lens to the correct orientation because the first ball head mount I used was too small and unbeknown to me, kept slipping during the three hours that I tried to take photos with an intervalometer 😩. That was 400 photos into the digital waste bin!
- trying to get my head around the various eyepieces and how to use them in conjunction with Barlow lenses
- trying to remember and recognise the key constellations and marker stars