April 23, 2011

Members: Leigh, Mark
Arrive: 9:00 pm
Temp: 9 C
Weather clear and dry.
Leigh opened dome and started computer in dome.  Leigh loaded drivers for SBig camera into computer from Mark’s flash drive.  Leigh then opened Maxim DL and tried to operate the camera.  It took four attempts to pick the correct settings to allow Maxim to connect to the camera.
Mark joined Leigh in the dome and we attemted to take some basic images of a bright star.  We found that with the current adapters available to us we were unable to obtain focus.  We did not want to change the telescopes prime focus as we have it correct for a Canon DSLR and we do not want to change that if possible.  We were happy with the fact that the camera was working.  We took some measurements with the aim of manufacturing or purchasing the proper spacers to obtain focus.
We then used Mark’s Ethos 13mm on the telescope to view M13.  We both agreed that we were treated to one of the most stunning views we have ever had of M13.  It was as beautiful as most images I have seen on the subject.  We agreed that we also should make some more adapters to allow the use of more eyepieces on the telescope without fudging the clamping in of the eyepiece.  We want to be able to just plop in an eyepiece with the appropriate adapter and achieve focus as we will with any selection of camera.  With a little patience and preserverance we will accomplish this.
Mark had set up his ED80 on his EQ3 outside to view Saturn.  He put in his Ethos 3.7mm 110 deg view eyepiece and we were completely blown away by the beautiful view we were given of our ringed jewel of the night.  It drew a wow!! from both of us.  It was a great way to complete the night.
We went back to the dome and viewed M87 in the Virgo cluster before packing it in for the night.
A great night of viewing to remind us of why we keep going in this hobby despite the lack of co-operation from our west coast weather.
Departed: 2:00 am
Temp: 7C
Darkness meter: n/a