After a day of heavy raining the skies cleared up enough tonight to do some observing. The air was quite moist, but I really wanted to get some observing in so I went out anyway and grabbed my friend to come join me.
Today I managed to get the scope aligned using the “Easy Align” mode quite quickly, only took me two tries. After aligning the scope tracked the stars semi-well, I had to do small adjustments every now and then to keep things in the middle.
Still not having any planets to observe, and the moon not being high enough in the sky yet I decided to have a look at some double stars I’ve read about. The first one I picked was Albireo, a colorful pair of stars that really stood out with their nice yellow and blue colors. The scope performed nicely getting me pointed in the right direction, and then I just had to fiddle a bit with the focusing knob.
The second pair was Alcor and Mizar, a naked-eye double star located in the Big Dipper, very easy to spot in the telescope, and once we got even closer using the 9.7mm eyepiece and the Barlow lens we could even see Mizar’s companion really clearly.
I didn’t really expect this much out of the scope, so I’m pleasantly surprised so far.
After some star surfing I told the scope to swing over to M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, and with the semi-poor weather I didn’t expect to see much, but again I was pleasantly surprised as the galaxy jumped out at me. It was not as clear as photos you see out there, but you could really see something was there, a gray blob or haze with a brighter middle part.
Lastly we spent a little while watching the moon as it rised over the treetops, watching some big beautiful craters and the light making interesting formations on the terminator.
All in all it was a great first try of the telescope and so far it’s overperforming. I can’t wait to see what it can do with the planets later this year.