The new Moon and a reasonably clear night tempted me this evening to setup the Celestron C6-SGT, but with the Moon low in the sky, and between buildings it was a race to get setup in time before it sank below the rooftops. My intention was to setup the scope’s Goto with the serial link to the laptop, and to have a go at using the Virtual Moon software to identify features, and also use it to control the goto of the scope to target items of interest.
I managed to get a brief viewing of the terminator under manual control, with my Hyperion 13mm cranked up to maximum magnification with both its fine tuning rings, plus a 2xBarlow, but I only managed to observe it for a few minutes before she disappeared behind the roofline. Damn.
So I gave up on the Virtual Moon idea, and turned my attention to seeing if I could take up where I left off a few nights before experimenting with using the Webcam plus focal reducer to capture some footage of less bright objects, so as to understand what the limitations of the un-modified webcam would be.
I attempted to view some of the star clusters in Auriga (M36, M37 and M38) and Gemini (M35). I was pleased to get the focal reducer focused on them, but it was quite difficult getting the webcam settings sensitive enough to pick up the clusters. I have taken some footage of each cluster, and content with that I packed up for the night (work tomorrow!), and will see what I can tease out from the captures with K3CCDTools in due course.