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Monday, August 23, 2010

Taking it to the next level with the AT8RC...

It has arrived!

What a fine piece of Taiwanese machinery!

Balancing was quick and easy, using a recent replacement of the Atlas counterweight shaft with a 20" version from Criterion Machine Company of West Virginia. Replaced the stock focuser with my Moonlite version. The most excellent Moonlite focuser employs a shaft lock on the focuser knob rather than on the drawtube or drawtube rail, as compressing these induces unwanted image and focus shift. Had enough of that nonsense.

This week, evenings will be spent evaluating the back focus and adjusting the optical train configuration in preparation for the upcoming dark period. May the weather favor my intentions!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Countdown to September dark skies

Nearing the end of the monsoon season with nine more days until the beginning of the next lunar dark cycle. Looking forward to good weather and clear skies!

Though the popular constellations for this period will be overhead, my attention will be a little to the east such that I can get sufficient exposures of deep sky objects throughout the evening. The regions of celestial interest in this September shoot being the constellations of Sagittarius, Capricornus, Pegasus, and Cygnus.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A new look!

A little extra time on my hands; trying out the new eBlogger template designer. Nice. I like the change. Hope you do, too.