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.