Saturday, June 20, 2009

First Light!

As my wife described it, I was like a kid in a candy store. I had everything set out early and waited patiently (or maybe not so) for the sun to set. With each passing minute I scanned the sky for the first twinkling star. Up and down the hill I went while helping the wife cook on the grill.

—Finally there it was… Vega! Down the hill I ran and uncapped the scope. Turned on the view finder, centered the dot and presto, there was nothing there. Instantly I worried about my collimation, was it any good? Would this be a fruitless evening trying to achieve first light? In and out I turned the focuser and presto, there was a star. Very faint it was, and not Vega at all, but a sharp, well focused star.

—So up the hill I went to get the wife and tell her my collimation was successful! All I had to do now was adjust my view finder so I could start scanning the heavens. Sadly there were no planets to view or moon to use as a focus point. I had to hope that I could match the star in my view finder and the one in my eye piece. For the next two hours I struggled with it, and guess what? No success at all. I decided to focus on the Mizar/Alcor double star in Ursa Major. I could put the red dot right on it, but never find it in the scope.

—So ‘First Light’ was a mixture of highs and lows. punctuated by another upset buck white tail dear and my two labs that wouldn’t get out from underfoot. I did mix in some yummy burgers on the grill in the middle of it all. Not to mention I did see the HIP 91919A/91926C Binary system, which was really cool.

—All in all a successful evening I hope to do again next week. I hope you enjoyed my account and would love some feedback on how everyone is enjoying my blogs..


  1. Hi, really love the blog. We have produced a free podcast on NASA's latest mission and would love your feed back. Have a look and let us know what you think of the idea. If you click on my URL it will link you to it.



  2. In my comment before I realised that I left a wrong link. Click on my name on this post to get the correct one.


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