Sunday, November 22, 2009
Note the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe Sticker
As you know, my Galileoscopes finally showed up last week. The first night I viewed Jupiter. It's particularly bright this time of year and is visible from my backyard. The Galileoscope gave me a pretty clear view of 3 of Jupiter's moons. I checked my StarmapPro app and saw one of the moons was either in front of or behind Jupiter that night. Most of the time I can see 4 moons with my binoculars. Jupiter was shrouded in what appears to be a fuzzy smudge around the edges. I wonder if I got a finger print on one of the lenses. Regardless, I think I could barely see some tan in the disc of Jupiter. I've seen it a lot in bigger scopes so perhaps my mind was playing tricks or the atmosphere wasn't cooperating. I'll keep trying.
Last night, I trekked a couple blocks from my house to catch ISS and Atlantis fly by. After that, I stuck the Galileoscope on the tripod. The first thing I noticed was: my tripod isn't very stable. The brisk wind giggled it around pretty good. In between wind gusts, I got a very nice view of the crescent Moon. Very good detail of the craters and shadows. The earth-shine was also impressive through the scope. I looking forward to night with a full moon. The fuzzy apparition around Jupiter was still present. I'm thinking of taking the scope apart to clean the lens but I really don't want to cut the stickers. Perhaps I'll build the spare and see how well that works.
I was only using the 25X setup because I heard negative feedback on the 2X barlow.
I've been toying with the idea of getting a decent telescope so this was a great learning experience for me. I definitely do not want a refractor like the Galileoscope. It's too difficult to maneuver my body around to see high in the sky targets through the eyepiece. I'm also having second thoughts on a dobsonian mount for a big reflector. It's a trade-off though. Dobs mounts are cheaper which means more money for aperture. Bigger aperture means more light. hmmm. I'll probably keep thinking about it and saving my money. A nice 8" or 10" on an equatorial mount is too much for my budget at this time (although I'm open for a Christmas present).