Saturday, August 26, 2000

finally beating the dew (Union)

Unpacked telescope from case and found moisture! Damn, it's true. The telescope should be stored with slight heat. I dried everything out in the hot sun.
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping
I setup the tripod and mount in the afternoon. Took my time. Then I aligned the polar axis around 10pm. I think I'm finally figuring this out... I was worried that the point I chose would not work for Saturn and Jupiter--turned out to be true.

Clouds were moving in to the north at 10pm...

From 2300h to 0200h in Union, Ontario, I tried to find Uranus. No luck. Was very frustrated (partly with the finder scope angle). Maybe too close to the horizon, not a very dark night, with a lot of humidity.

The kids showed up at 1am. Mom joined in. I showed 'em the Andromeda galaxy, the Ring Nebula. Then I moved the 'scope so to view Jupiter, Saturn, and the Pleiades. The kids really enjoyed that. At first I questioned their motivation and true interest but they warmed up.

[ed: Messier 31 (M31), Messier 57 (M57), Messier 45 (M45).]

The Red Spot was supposed to be visible but I couldn't see it.

Used my new dew heater (purchased at Efston Science). It worked very well, despite very heavy dew! No moisture on the corrector. I successfully ran the heater below Medium setting. I also used the portable battery. It too worked well, with no appreciable drain on the battery!


At first I was going to build my own portable power source after reading and printing some articles from the net. But as I went shopping at Canadian Tire for car and marine batteries, I chanced upon a purpose-built portable car battery. The Century Booster Pac was designed for boosting a car (which would be handy, of course). But it also included a Cigarette Lighter Adapter socket. Perfect!

Mine is just like this except yellow.

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