Observing in the afternoon

Standard

I took out the 5″ scope and the new zoom eyepiece last night for a maddening 45 minutes before the cloud returned, so this afternoon I got going while it was still light, aiming for the sliver of moon.

Even a telephone wire can be an obstruction

Even a telephone wire can be an obstruction

This has advantages:

  • You can see what you are doing when setting up
  • You don’t have to get dark-adapted
  • It is marginally less cold than it is going to be later
  • If it clouds over as night falls, at least you will feel you have done something
  • should it happen to stay fine, there is time to warm up before your next session

The moon looked good.  For example, the terracing, central mountains and extraordinary ruler-straight rimae of Petavius were as clear as you like.  I boldly stuck the zoom into a 2xBarlow, which gave a gratifyingly vertiginous view, though of course the image was not very bright at maximum magnification.  The Barlow and the zoom together make a huge lump of eyepiece, looking very ponderous on the small tube, but the mount seemed to cope and no nose-dives took place.

The terminator ended in a fine thread of illumination, with one last mountain at the very end catching the sun.  As it grew darker, the earthshine became more apparent.

I tried to take a few down-the-eyepiece snaps – through 12 and 20mm plossls, not the zoom – and although I wasn’t lucky enough to catch a good photo this time, a couple of the images had enough detail to remember the evening by.

One mountain tall enough to catch the sun (click for the full-size image to see it)

One mountain tall enough to catch the sun (click for the full-size image to see it)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s