Thursday, April 30, 2009


The routine

Went observing tonight because the observatory is finally in working order, the sky was relatively clear, and I had some free time. Things I tried that worked: using SkyMap to obtain the coordinates of celestial objects and then using the telescope's Seek mode to automatically aim towards them (the Moon, Saturn, Alpha Leonis, Polaris); using a "found" object to recalibrate the telescope's position; photographing objects in focus through the finderscope. Things I tried that didn't work: photographing objects through the main scope; imaging objects with the CCD camera. To-do: put a thermometer in the observatory; characterize the unlabeled eyepieces in the observatory, which basically means all of the eyepieces; have IT check out why the computer doesn't recognize the onboard soundcard or the PCI video capture card; print out a list of the Messier objects and add it to the observatory handbook; lobby the school for one of those "city-lights filters," because the light pollution in Zhangjiang is just horrible.


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