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New telescope 
7th-Sep-2003 01:56 pm
Astro: NGC 3184
As those of you who pore over the tiniest details of my life will know, I discovered at BiCamp that my telescope was broken. This is somewhat dysphoric, especially when Mars is so close. I’d also been mildly frustrated for a while by not having a tripod for it, which makes it a bigger production to set up and limits where I can use it. (And it was a fairly dinky telescope — which was fine; the image quality was what I expected and it was a good deal for what I paid for it while it worked.)

Well, now I have a new telescope. And it’s a nice one, as near as I can tell without nighttime. It's a Celestron NexStar 114GT. It comes with a (nice and light) tripod. Like the old Meade telescope, it has a computerized controller, so after you calibrate it you can tell it “show me Saturn” or “show me Betelgeuse” and it will point in the right place. Unlike the Meade telescope, it has a finder scope (well, sort of; it's not exactly a scope). And it has a much greater aperture; 114mm instead of 60mm, which will be much nicer for faint, spread-out objects like galaxies and other nebulae.

Let me know if you want to be invited over when I feel like doing some backyard stargazing (or, if you live someplace with less light-pollution than Malden, if you want to invite me over for backyard stargazing).

Also, if somebody wants my old Meade ETX60 telescope, either to try to get it fixed (the motors sound like they work, and the coarse movement works, so maybe it’s just a slipped gear or something) or in hopes of getting some use out of it without being able to calibrate it (moving it by hand might be good enough for birdwatching or looking at the moon — I was actually able to point it at Mars with a lot of effort and patience), I'd probably be happy to part with it, although I might want to hold on to one of the two eyepieces that came with it, since they’ll work with my new scope.
7th-Sep-2003 05:38 pm (UTC) - ooooohhhh ... telescopes!
We'd be delighted to have you over for stargazing -- the main caveat being that you'll have to point your telescope almost straight up, since our horizons are pretty much obscured by 50' pines. :-)

And if you don't get another taker on the old 'scope, we'll take it off your hands....
8th-Sep-2003 07:06 am (UTC) - Re: ooooohhhh ... telescopes!
That would be lovely! Maybe I could look through your books to give away at the same time, since that dinner plan seems not to have happened. This month, I'm probably free the evenings of the 12th, 13th, 20th, 26th, and 27th. I think the 26th and 27th would probably be best in terms of stay-up-lateability (and having had time to get used to the telescope). But maybe we should pick two or three dates, and get together on the first one that has clear skies.

The old scope is yours. I'll be interested to know if you can get it fixed. When we get together, it wouldn't hurt to remind me to bring it.
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