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First Night Out...

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Posted by Jared on March 29, 2002 17:50:47 UTC

Well, I finally got my scope, and a chance to break it in. I took it out last night, but I can't say that the viewing conditions were great (high clouds moving in, and an annoying breeze were there to try and foil me). However, I managed to get an ok glimpse of Jupiter and her four moons. I tell you what, as I turned that knob and watched the smear of light resolve into a disc accompanied by four points of light glittering in my eyepiece like diamonds hung in the night sky, it took my breath away. I really didn't know what to expect, but even that little bit was exciting. I'm definitely hooked. The moon was a pretty good view. Even when observed through a moderate layer of clouds. I was pretty impressed with the little scope's performance all in all. Even after the clouds had moved to block my view of Jupiter, I could still see her shimmering faintly through my scope, even though there was nothing to be seen with the naked eye. I didn't get a chance to make it to a dark sky area, just the parking lot of the office building next to my apartment. While I was out, a couple of cops rolled up and started my way. I thought "great, they think I'm some pervert trying to peep into someone's home". But, one of them actaully started talking to me about the comet, asking me if I could see it, or if it was the last night to be able to see it, etc. I was shocked, and bemused. After a few minutes they left, and I kept waiting and hoping that the cloud gods would favor me, but alas, they had it out for me this night, so I called it quits.

One question though...would it be worth it for me to get a barlow with this scope? I would really like a bit more detail on the planets, other than an unidentifiable point of light. Or should I just find a dark sky area and focus on deep sky objects?

Clear skies,

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