Astronomy Equipment - April 2014

My telescope setup is pretty basic utilising a Meade LX200GPS 10" f/10 SCT. It was purchased from The Binocular and Telescope Shop back in April 2003 when they were located at 55 York Street. This was in anticipation of the Mars Opposition in August 2003. I also opted for a Petersen Ez Clutch, Petersen Ez Focus, Bobs Knobs Collimation Screws and Orion Flexishield and Orion Dew Zapper.

I didn't really have any idea as to how best to setup and use the scope. My initial attempts of taking video using a Philips Toucam were painful as I could never get the image focus good enough. I didn't understand the concept of a rough focus versus the fine focus of the microfocser. Then there is little appreciation of the fact that I can't simple drag out the telescope and set it up and expect the seeing to be amazing. The OTA has to cool down and the atmosphere also has to cool and for favourable viewing the object needs to be as high in the sky as possible.

For the most part I haven't taken advantage of scope and it's capability. Recently with 3 planets in the sky, planetary viewing is really good and my results have rekindled my love of off world objects. Below is a picture of the setup as it stands in April 2014. I definteiy want to build on this. Looking at the pictures that other people are producing is simple amazing.

Planetary observation setup

You can watch a video of the telescope here...