My 2 clear nights in October, 2006

October 8-9th, 2006. 2 nights off and predicted clear skies !

2 comets in the sky!

2 passes of the ISS!

This promised to be a spectacular observing session.

First, the ISS. Recently NASA added additional solar panels to the ISS and reports stated that  passovers
would be really spectacular.  AND THEY WERE !!!

Here's the proof. On the 8th ISS passed thru the Big Dipper at 6:13am

On the 9th ISS passed slowly across the northern horizon at 6:45am

I shot the following images thru the scope.
Orion Nebula

Alcor and Mizar

I was shocked at the exposure time for the above photo. I started at 5 seconds. However, at 5 secs the light from Mizar
engulfed Zeta. To show the seperation of the two stars I actually shot this image at 1/30 of a second!

I also shot some piggyback images with my Olympus E-500 below.

The Pliades


And lastly, my meager images of Comet Swan.

A wide angle view. Click to enlarge.

Now that the rain has moved in I received my new Meade Starfinder mount.
This will replace the Meade mount that came with the scope 30 years ago.
I was able to refit the slow motion dec control Greg Cox made for me onto the new mount.

Now I'm looking for a good dual axis drive system for this scope.

Here's a shot of yours truly set up at Wellington, Ohio
enjoying a crisp autumn night and a cup of coffee.

My home brewed power supply* really worked well.
*(see article elsewhere on this site.)
The first night was extremely wet. The SCT was practically useless.
I used the hair dryer on it every 1/2 hour throughout the night.
I used the hair dryer twice on the newtonian secondary.
The primary didn't get wet at all !

At the end of the first night the battery had only dropped to 11.8 volts.
At the end of the second, dryer night the battery only dropped to 12.4 volts.