Lots… Today I received ALL my new gear from Orion (AstroLog #10). I took my time and used all the advice I gleaned from the forums, reviews, and other sources and was able to setup the new Goto Mount (a starseeker IV) with the 102mm Mak almost too easily. I’m not a fan of the manual slewing but it worked, and worked well. M3 was right in the middle of my 20mm reticle EP on the 102mm mak. that’s quite a bit zoomed by default. Very impressed with the GoTo feature.
I later hooked up the 130ST OTA, re-aligned, and hit a full list of objects. most appeared just to the lower left of the ep, I couldn’t tell if it was getting further out of alignment as time passed. I might have bumped a let or something, but still. everything was still in the EP after slewing.
I didn’t get around to trying out the new 80mm Refractor that came with the gear. I wanted to, but just couldn’t get around to it, I got cold and didn’t want to drag out another mount or re-align the starseeker. Plus I’m still not comfortable manually slewing the thing. there’s no adjustable azimuth clutch.
Poor. I thought that maybe it was my glasses, or dirty optics, or various other bits. I could see the DSO’s, but just couldn’t get them to clear up or look like they did in darker skies. The early evening sky was better than the 1am sky. we started to haze over. Looking at the enhanced IR goes west satellite, you can see the haze starting to build up.
Ok, so tonight using the new GoTo I started with this list: M3, M5, M13, M53, M57, M81, M82, M104, M108.
I was able to make out all but m104 & M82 (if I remember correctly). but most were either very apparent smudges, or could only be hinted at with averted vision. the light pollution filter didn’t do much to help either, just made everything dimmer.
The Mak did well. I surfed the sky a bit with it, it held great focus and M3 looked like a globular. I couldn’t see the individual stars, it was still smudgy, but not bad for 102mm.
I decided to give the 130ST a try on the same mount, I had to re-align everything but it worked just as well. I honestly can’t say that the 130 did any better than the 102mm Mak on M3.
Both were smudgy and I couldn’t get the 130 to resolve any stars. Part of the problem might have been a change in weather between scope changes. I spent an hour consulting stellarium looking at new targets visible around all my yard obstructions. by the time I got back out the sky was a bit more hazy. it seemed everything was out of focus, even at very low powers.