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October 21, 1999

My shiny new laptop arrived today - and the skies were clear! Took the scope into the back yard and put it on my tripod and mounted it equatorially. For love nor money the AutoStar wouldn't do a proper 1-star polar alignment (it wouldn't let me choose the star), so I tossed it and just plugged in the regular hand-paddle that came with the ETX. Then I spent a half-hour trying to find the manual in order to figure out how to get it into tracking mode.

Whew! Pointed the thing at Jupiter and switched to the QuickCam. Image seemed suspiciously sharp... Took some exposures. Took some of Saturn (was pretty sure I saw the Cassini Division in the raw data.) For grins, took some of Iota Triangulum, a 4" double.

Take your pick of:

  • Outside
  • Polar alignment (only 1 motor turning)
  • Stable mount
or maybe all 3, but the results were just terrific!

Finally, there's the Cassini Division!

Unfortunately, I didn't record the exposure times for this (or the Saturn shot)

Iota Tri

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