Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Light with my Used Meade 285 60mm (2.4") Refracting Telescope

My grandpa gave me his Meade Model 285 60mm (2.4") Refracting Telescope because he hasn't used it in a long time. While I was in Metamora, IL I took it out on his upstairs balcony to test it out on the relatively dark skies. I was clumsy and couldn't really see anything. I looked at a star and saw a blurry white dot and was very underwhelmed.

After watching a YouTube video on German equatorial mounts, I quickly learned that it's easiest to move only two axes at a time while keeping the elevation and vertical axis (not sure what it's called really) in the start position.

On August 11, 2013 I took the telescope out onto my balcony in Brownsburg, IN to test it out for the first time on the crescent moon. I'm calling this "first light" because it's my first real observation after cleaning and aligning my new (to me) scope!

meade 285 mount
Meade 285 (D=60mm, F=900mm, f/15) with German equatorial mount
meade 285 telescope
The scope, mount, and tripod set up in my grandpa's study
meade 285 telescope
The scope in pieces ready to be taken back to Indiana
meade telescope
First light back in Indiana, turning the corner into the world of scopes!
iPhone photo with exposure lock (Night Cap)
iPhone photo through the eyepiece
Saturn! Not a great photo, but just enough to tell that it's not a star. Taken with iPhone through the eyepiece.

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