New Toys, and Rain

rainThe mailman has been busy here. I’ve received my Orion mount extender, and once again I can stand more or less upright while viewing the heavens.

One big demerit for this fine product is that it comes with NO INSTRUCTIONS. I suppose I’m supposed to carry it into a meeting of a local astronomy club with a sheepish look on my face and ask for help. Alas, not my way of doing things (perhaps it should be).

Luckily, an Amazon reviewer explained the secret. The extender is now solidly in place. It’s covered in plastic, as rain continues from last night.

Today, the mailman brought a Baader neodymium-glass skyglow filter. This product is supposed to exclude the commonest wavelengths of urban light pollution. Starting at about 15° above the local horizon to the south, this becomes insurmountable. Maybe the Baader will help.

Also, my 40mm Plössl came. It’s a handsome, heavy piece, from the Celestron Omni series like the telescope it’s going into. At my one-meter focal length, it will give 25× magnification, fairly close to the lowest useful magnification of 17× but just what I need. Apparent FOV is 43° and at the given magnification we get 43/25 or ∼1.7° true FOV. I expect it will become my eyepiece of first recourse.

It will certainly help when I’m looking for something like Comet 41P, which is between Megrez and Kappa Draconis right now and is about mag. 7. Searching for it at 25mm/40× was like searching for a needle in a haystack.

An ultra-wide might be on my whimsy list in the future, but not yet. I am still trying to learn to use this telescope. It’s lovely but very different from the old one. Plus, it’s pouring rain right now, so it really doesn’t matter how good my new Plössl is.

That’s it for astronomy right now: new toys and rain. ‘Twas ever thus.


About Jon

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food.
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