Monday, February 18, 2019

surgery required

It cleared up enough last night to take the 6' outside to test focus.  The 31mm bottomed out the in focus and did not quite reach focus -- this will mean I need to cut out a wider hole in the aluminum tailpiece to make room for the focuser drawtube.  It will make the changes irreversible, but it's ok: I can reach focus at 22mm no problem, and by adding a tube extender to the diagonal, I can reach focus with the 13mm and 8mm too. 

With the 31mm the whole of Orion's sword fits in the view very comfortably, though the stars on the outer 20% of the field are more out of focus than those in the center -- is this coma?  I see a similar effect with the 22mm; though with this view I began to see the greenish tint to the Orion Nebula.  The 13mm eyepiece has the best view.   I moved on to view the moon, which had very dark sky around it -- contrast seems very good in the scope.  Best view with the 22mm, the whole of the nearly full moon, showing streaks of rays and bright pockmarks of new craters.

I need to decide, though, whether to have a tracking mount for this scope.  I suppose it is not too much trouble to bump it along but I have grown accustomed to its convenience.  I think as a first step I'll do alt/az, but if I find a cheap enough mount I may buy it.

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