Sunday, 20 November 2011

Woo hoo!

Ever since I was a small boy, walking out into my grandmother's garden with my Uncle John to see Halley's Comet, I have been in love with the universe and everything therein.

My dream to be able to afford my own telescope was finally realised thanks to my wonderful and incredibly thoughtful wife.

The Telescope she bought me is a second-hand SkyWatcher 130mm Reflector with a box of bits I thought were peripherals that came with the original scope.

It turns out that, although the original lens and battery powered tracking motors were in the box, the gentleman who we bought it from also put in three further lenses, each producing eye wateringly larger images, and a power supply so that you don't need to use batteries.

I now intend to invest a little more cash to buy a camera mount for it so look out for some amateur astrophotography coming soon.

Until then, you'll just have to be happy with pics of the scope itself.

Top view showing viewer to right, red-spot finder on top and view down to primary mirror

I am fighting the urge to scratch 'Dan's' above this...

The stats are; D-130mm, F-650mm

My telescope came with tripod and auto-tracking motors including a track feature that (with a little adjustment) will automatically keep the object of interest in the viewer. Fantastic. I can't wait for the deep winter nights. Thus far I have only had really spectacular results whilst looking at the moon. The original lens gave me a lovely, full view of the moon. I fitted the next lens and achieved some great results as the whole viewscreen was filled. The third of the lenses gave the most amazing result so far. I focused the scope on the moon's north pole and could see incredibly crisp craters through the viewer. It was, by now, filling the whole of the eyepiece with approximately a quarter of the moon's face.

Very excited by this, I decided to hunt through the box and paperwork to see if I could crisp up the image any further. It was here I got my nicest surprise of all. The gentleman had also put a Barlow lens, which had been lost in my child like tearing open of the box, in with all the other stuff. It's a X2 Barlow lens and yes, you guessed it, it doubles the magnification of anything you've got already and fits in-line with any lens that you are using!

I really must get that camera mount, I can't wait to publish some of my pics.

And so to astronomy. I feel so lucky that we don't live near a big city. The sky is so crisp here in winter. And a special thank you to Uncle John, without whom I wouldn't have this life-long love.

Until then...

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Lilac Tree must be good for night skies. Tasmania was amazing. For the first time we understood why the Milky Way is called The Milky Way. And I hope you and Gabi might think of Psalm 19 as you look up into the night sky at Lilac Tree. "The heavens are declaring the glory of God, and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling." It was the beauty of a late Autumn sky in Sheffield that told me of its Creator. I was walking up Botanical Road to have tea with your grandparents and the beauty of it all made me realise it had been made so lovely just for us. That is when I began my search for its Creator, as I wanted to thank him. Hope to see you both (and the Millster) next month. love