My new Celestron C6-SGT SCT telescope with Starbrite XLT coatings is brilliant. Last night was quite a nice night for viewing, best I’ve had in weeks.
One of my wife’s work colleagues stayed over last night, and he was interested to see through it, and I didn’t want to miss a chance, so out we went.
Took my time polar aligning (although I don’t have a polar alignment scope), but can view roughly through the hole the polar scope would fit, and see right through the body of the mount to line up on Polaris, then fine tune through the eyepiece.
The 3-star alignment was very easy and accurate now the backlash is fixed. Backlash needs tuning though. I thought with each star I aligned on, 1, 2, 3, it would progressively improve the accuracy, but actually not until all 3 have been aligned. Then its absolutely spot on every time when I goto objects. Very impressed. And with widefield objects its just a case of panning around at whatever speed you fancy.
Often I get bogged down concentrating on just one thing to look at and don’t view that many things in an evening as a result, but since Nigel was with me, I thought it better to show him a variety of interesting things, so we just zoomed all over the place, first choosing things in the Stellarium astronomy software of suitable magnitude to view , then punching into the Goto hand controller, although a couple of times ended up looking at the garage/house walls! LOL
We must have seen about 15-20 things last night, the faves like Beehive, Pleiades, Orion Neb, Crab Neb, Double-Cluster, Castor, and of course Saturn which was stunning, could just make out markings on the body, and could see the rings nice and sharp even though edge-on, and including some (very) faint fuzzies, like the Pinwheel galaxy, and several galaxies/neb around Ursa Major and Leo’s belly. At one point couldn’t understand why no stars were visible, till I shone a red-light on the front glass corrector plate, ahahh, and then ran inside to fetch Barbs hairdryer!!
Really enjoyed ourselves.
Ok the C6 isn’t as bright as the XT10 (faint fuzzies are much better in the XT), but the ability to go rock-steady straight to the exact location of DSOs without playing wibbly-wobbly chase-me (like I normally do with the push-to XT10) was just fantastic, and I was pleased that the C6 picked up faint galaxies and nebulae despite its smaller aperture.
The centred object didn’t seem to budge once tracked. Perhaps I should test this at high mag for 10-20 mins.
Next is to attempt Goto operated by Carte du Ciel from the laptop, although I might need an ASCOM driver for the SynScan.
Now I’m looking forward to trying the webcam, and am seriously considering the Steve Chambers long-exposure mod.