Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Getting more familiar

Tonight I thought I should push my comfort zone. I'd spent a happy afternoon a while ago playing with the remote controls on the autostar controller via a serial link to a laptop. It allows you to control all aspects remotely.

I'd also read a bit about polar aligning the telescope - this looked a little scary, not least because of the rather crazy angle everything ends up at. After having read through it a couple of times though, it didn't seem to be so scary, and practising a couple of times indoors in the light helps!

Anyway - after a few false starts outside - like finding the "home" position for polar alignment, it all came together. It was really quite easy. It looks a bit weird, but it works. I tried imaging Saturn as a test, and tried using the tracking option to keep the telescope centred on the planet. I'm not sure if it worked or not, it did seem to drift out of view, but it could be down to operator error.
The pictures of Saturn weren't any better than any I've taken before so I won't bother showing them.

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