… to faddle about heaving huge lumps of chipboard and tin into the garden, and to assemble them, and collect all the bits and pieces I’ll need, and do all the aligning this that and the other, and the collimating, when it isn’t properly dark, and won’t be until after I have to be in bed, and anyway the sky is all wobbly? Why bother for an hour of bad seeing?
Thus I grumbled last night at about 22.00 UT as I did the heaving, assembling, collecting, aligning and collimating. It’s weeks since I had the 10″ scope out, and I’m out of the habit.
I pointed it at Saturn and remembered why I bother. The seeing was not very steady, but in the 7mm Celestron eyepiece I could see banding on the disc, the planet’s shadow on the rings and the ring shadow on the planet, the difference in albedo between the A and B rings, and a fuzzy bit of the Cassini Division. And three moons. What’s more, I didn’t have to wear two hats and two pairs of thermals to do it. I soaked my head in the silence of the image.