I hadn’t taken the telescope out since April. With other projects and hobbies I just didn’t bother setting up the equipment. But a few nights ago looking at a dark blue evening sky I noticed a nice crescent Moon and a triangular star formation over the horizon. The kids weren’t in bed yet so I grabbed my gear and made a quick set-up for observation with the 80ED telescope.
After an observation of the Moon, spending time examining the lights and shadows across the lunar craters and valleys I looked at the triangular star formation and suspected that at least one was a planet. Slewed the telescope over and discovered Mars. Tried different eye pieces and settled for an Orion Edge-On 9mm planetary with Televue 2x Barlow.
With the kids off to bed I changed the set-up for webcam imaging before Mars could dip below the horizon. Follow up processing that evening wasn’t very rewarding. Mars is some distance with Earth therefore appeared rather small compared with other times I pointed the telescope and with the heavy atmospheric turbulence imaging at such a low altitude it blurred the scant details I could have captured.
But that evening I broke the ice and got the gear out. And since I’ve been enjoying the night sky when weather permits. With the galactic plane crossing the sky it’s a great time for wide angle shots. It’s also much faster to set-up and more forgiving to an incorrect polar alignment. I got three photo sessions to analyze and hope to have some good shots to show in the next few days.
Autumn, with cooler nights, dark skies and no mosquitos it’s prime time to enjoy the night sky.