First Light: Celestron NexStar 8 SE

The clouds finally lifted, and last week I got the check out my new NexStar. After setting up the red dot finder, I was ready to go.

Having already entered my latitude and longitude info into the scope’s computer during one of the cloudy nights, alignment was very easy. From my backyard I could see the moon, Saturn, and Mars in the sky, so I decided to try using the Solar System Align. I got the moon centered in the scope, hit the button, and the scope immediately began to track.

I still love my dobsonian, but it’s so great to let the scope do the tracking instead of having to nudge the scope every few seconds. I think it’s really going to help with photography.

Next I hit the button for the scope to slew to Saturn, and there it was, right in the center. Then I told it to go to Mars, and the result was the same. Very satisfying. Although I do hope to learn the constellations better, the GoTo functionality is going to be great for short sessions where you want to see something quick.

So far so good. I hope to post some moon or Saturn pictures in the next couple weeks.

June 15, 2008 | Posted in: Astronomy | Comments Closed

Curse of the New Scope

I’ve got a brandy-new scope, a Celestron NexStar 8 SE… so of course it has been raining or overcast every night since I bought it last week.

The good news is that I got the scope-to-Starry Night interface working, so once the scope is aligned I can use Starry Night to slew it. I’m really excited about the tracking features on this scope – should make both observing and photography much easier.

More detail when the clouds clear…

June 9, 2008 | Posted in: Astronomy | Comments Closed