Hi,

Here is my observing report:

Saturn

I was out in my front yard tonight with my Tec140 and ASGT goto mount. I observed for 4-hours (from 11:00PM to 3:00AM). The seeing was good, around a 7.

I had a problem with my ASGT mount as I noticed that the alignment stars were way off and then subsequent gotos were way off. After about an hour, I finally figured out the problem. I was not tightening the Dec and the RA lock levers enough. Once I made them nice and tight, the gotos were fine. The alignment stars were still off a bit, but the gotos were good. I even confirmed this by doing another alignment later in the night and the gotos were good.

Once I got the mount working properly, I started off with Saturn which was now very low in the western sky. It was shimmering in the atmosphere way too much to see any fine detail. The planet still looked decent with Cassini’s Division visible on the edge of the rings.

The Straight Wall

Next, I viewed the moon and could see 3-4 craterlets in Plato depending on the seeing. The 4th craterlet was tough tonight. I could not see the Rille in the Alpine Vally. The Straight Wall looked very nice as did Copernicus.

I then spent the majority of the night viewing Jupiter. It looked very nice through this scope as it was as high in the sky as it will get this apparition. JupiterThe Great Red Spot was at the edge of the SEB and I followed it as it moved across the planet. Detail was very easy to see in the NEB and the SEB. I saw several swirls, ovals, festoons, and irregularities in the NEB and the SEB. They just popped out at me and were very easy to see. I did notice that I could see a few bands between the NEB and the North Pole of Jupiter, but I could not see any bands or detail between the SEB and the South Pole. I have notice this when viewing Jupiter through my other scopes as well. Jupiter looked best at 163x and 196x and still looked good at 245x but the image was softening at that power. It was fun viewing the planet tonight.

While I was testing the mount, I looked at: M3, M5, M13, M57, and M92. Even with a moon 2-days past first quarter and my light polluted skies, M13 was starting to resolve itself nicely. While viewing M57 (Ring Nebula) at 52x with my 19mm Panoptic, I noticed a fuzzy spot at the bottom of the eyepiece about half a degree away. I had never seen anything like this near M57. I suddenly realized I was viewing the primary fragment of Comet 73P! I went back to the Ring Nebula later in the night and the comet and moved quite a bit toward the bottom of the FOV. It was cool to capture the movement of the comet by returning to it every 30-minutes or so.

I ended the night by splitting the Double-Double and Albireo. Albireo looked beautiful and I will be viewing it often this summer.

 

Take care,

jeff

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