Sunday, September 01, 1991

using the setting circles (Muskokas)

The apparent diameter of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, fills the entire field at 70x, i.e. the 26mm eyepiece. Messier 31.
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping
Used the setting circles to examine the open double clusters of Perseus. [ed: Also known as Caldwell 14. The individual objects are NGC 869 and 884.]

Also looked at the Pleiades. Messier 45 (M45)

Saturday, August 31, 1991

first photographs up north (Muskokas)

I don't remember the exact history now but clearly I had a number of things in place to shoot bracketed photos of the Moon through the telescope.

location: Woodwinds Island, Muskoka, Ontario
camera: Pentax SP-1000
film: Kodak Ektar 1000
exposure: 1/30

Again, I wasn't keeping logs at this time. But I remember that it was at Caroline's cottage that the urge to have a 'scope consumed me...

I also don't remember exactly when I bought my t-adapter. I know I did not buy it when I got the 'scope itself. But obviously in short order I had the Meade t-adapter proper and "PS" adapter ring so to connect the Pentax body, via its screw-type mount.


Wikipedia link: Moon.

Friday, July 05, 1991

Saturn and Andromeda (Muskokas)

Saw Saturn! Wow!
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping
Andromeda was smudgy. Messier 31 (M31).

Was very damp with the corrector plate becoming misty.

There were many shooting stars. A few artificial satellites.

Magnitude test: approx. 60. It seemed clearer early on.

Sunday, June 30, 1991

I can see the rings! (Muskokas)

Using the SP-C8 with the 26mm (so 77x power) up at Muskoka from 10:04pm on.
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping
Looked at Vega. It is blue-white. Looked at Antares, which is red-orange. Looked at Alcor/Mizar. White and close together. Arcturus is white-blue.

Looked at Messier 103 (M103). A loose faint cluster of yellow, small stars.

A couple of shooting stars. The first was from east to west, from Draco to Ursa Major. The second one, a short one, went into Ursa Major from the south. Another east to west through Ursa Major.

Saturn! I can see the rings! Wow!

The Moon was up at 12:00am, around 10° or so elevation.

Faint northern lights, spires, white, glowing rays.

Some clouds, cirrus, up high.

Magnitude test: 52. (See the RASC Observer's Handbook for chart.)

Andromeda aka Messier 31 (M31) was just a smudge.

An artificial satellite went from south-west to north-east.

Saturday, June 01, 1991

Backyard Astronomer's book

I don't remember the exact date I received The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Dickinson and Dyer from Camden House Publishing. I thought it was before the summer of 1991, the time when I bought my telescope, because I vaguely recall reading this book as I researched telescopes. However, it is copyrighted 1991...

Donna and Steve gave me this as a gift. Possibly it was a birthday gift...

This is a fantastic book for anyone shopping for their first telescope. Sage advice this is still relevant 10 years later. They're big advocates of binoculars too. I believe it was through this book that I first learned about anti-dew methods. And I've used this book to learn how to collimate reflectors.

The photographs are inspiring: they're all shot by amateurs.

Tuesday, February 12, 1991

solar power

I bought a radiometer from Science City. It cost $14 plus taxes.

Cool store, located in the Holt Renfrew Centre, subway level , near Yonge & Bloor. They have some astronomy items. They also appear to sell telescopes.

It's funny how the function of this simple device is subject to heated (sorry about that) debate...