Astronomy Report 02-11-22 – First Light AZ-EQ5 in AZ mode

I struggled with the mount in the beginning.  It wouldn’t slew to target from a basic alignment.  I tried going to the moon and it decided it wanted to go straight down.  The star alignment process is rather simple, you manually move it to the first star, then it slews to the second star and you center it and your supposed to be done.  However, it never wasn’t even close on the second star.  When I parked it, it parked pointing to the south instead of the north and at a 45-degree angle, even though I powered on with it pointing north.  Hmmm, I wonder.  I read the docs again for the fourth time and finally found the section that said the scope needed to be on the right side of the mount as it’s pointed north, I had it on the left.  Problem solved.  Slewing to target once star aligned put the target directly in the middle of the EP, totally col.  However, a couple of times, I heard it making a popping noise inside the mount and the scope would shift up slightly, like something was lipping.  I would press the slew button to recenter the target and it would stop.  Hmmm, another problem to solve.

First target of the night was M45 using the Baader 13mm Hyperion.  Now I understand why Erica said it looked like a broom stick.  The four stars across the top win my image back from September were across the bottom at the time we were looking at it back in November.  It was neat to watch them rotate in the EP.  I watched them rotate from about 6:00 to 7:30 them tried M31.  Unfortunately, it was already behind the tree line to the west.

I moved on to the Beehive Cluster and switched to the 10mm EP.  I removed the 1.25-inch barrel adapter on the EP.  The 2’ inch view was much better.  I counted about 40 stars in the FOV.  I’m sure there’s more dimmer ones that the moon was drowning out.

I moved on to the Orion Nebula next.  I managed to see it through a hole in the tree branches, summer time would have been a complete bust.  I could make out the nebula with near vision using the 8mm EP.  I didn’t stay there long, the trees got in the way but I got to see it!

I thought it would be cool to see some of the stuff I had imaged over the last couple of months so I went to the Christmas Tree, it’s in the same general vicinity as the Orion Nebula.  Not a lot to see really, lol!

I checked out M47, an open cluster using the 8mm EP.  There was a tree at that location, almost due south with the altitude at about 47 degrees at the top.  I could see the cluster, now I know precisely what my southern view altitude is. From about 170 to 185 degrees my horizon is about 47 degrees.  Then there’s a hole down to about 30 degrees altitude to about 210 degrees.  Then the massive tree line on the west side to about 300 degrees with a horizon of about 70 degrees.  Then the horizon drops to about 50 degrees with some spots going up to about 60 until I get to about 330 degrees.  Then it drops to about 35 degrees.  Then it slowly moves up across the north east to the south west to about 45 degrees.

Once I figured all that out, I moved on to Algieba, it’s a double star in the Leo constellation, using the 5mm EP.  Depending on how I held my eye to the EP, the stars would separate into two distinct stars.

I tried Bode’s Galaxy but there was nothing in the FOV.  Moon was probably just a little too bright

It got a little nippy outside so I came in for a while to warm up when I realized I had been outside for close to four hours.  So I decided to break everything down.  I have to admit, the entire night was quite enjoyable as I was able to sit at the scope.  The peer tripod puts it at the perfect level to sit.

I ordered a new scope today.  The William Optics Z73 F/5.9 full frame, it should be here on the 16th.  I’m looking forward to imaging and observing now at the same time!

Clear Skies!

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