Thursday, December 08, 2005
First light!

Tonight I got a chance to test the Zeiss diascope 85 and the Manfrotto tripod astronomically for the first time. The Moon was high in the south, and my first impression was ......wow! Although the seeing was not very good, the Moon was there, crystal clear, in the Zeiss 20-60 eyepiece. What a view. The Alpine Valley was clearly visible at lowest magnification (20x). Beautiful! The contrast between the Mare and highland areas was stunning. My girlfriend also came out to have a look, and her first reaction was: “I never have seen such a clear and sharp image of the Moon through any other instrument we owe”.  We also noted another thing with this little instrument. Usually, at first quarter, we see only the half of the Moon that is illuminated. I only have seen earthshine, or any un-illuminated part of the Moon with a crescent Moon or with a lunar eclipse. But with the Zeiss we could see the contours of the whole of the Moon, full circle. This telescope definitely has a lot of contrast. I am very eager to try it on some of my favourite deepsky objects, like the Orion nebula and the Pleiades.

After the first views with the zoom-eyepiece I tried all my other eyepieces. The 25mm TAL plossl, the 32mm Televue plossl and the whole Lanthanum range (25mm-5mm). They all snapped into focus nicely. The 32mm Televue offered even a slightly wider field of view than the 70-degree Zeiss zoom eyepiece at 20x. Next I tried to focus the Zeiss with one of the deepsky filters or the Baader IR/UV cut filter mounted at the base of the eyepiece. With the 32mm Televue Plossl it was no problem.

What I also noticed is that with this Manfrotto tripod and the 45 degree angled telescope it is no problem to observe objects in the zenith, and because of the 45 degree angle, you see everything oriented in the sky as you see it with your naked eyes. I hope to do some serious deepsky observing and shoot some solar and lunar images with the Zeiss in the next few months.

I am excited excaim

Posted by Math on 12/08 at 08:00 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Equipment | Print