Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Light

My first telescope was the Celestron Advanced Series 9.25. This is a 9.25in Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, with a f/10 focal ratio. This particular scope is a well regarded scope with a loyal following. In 2003 this was my entry into the hobby. The image below shows this scope with the Meade zero shift micro focuser, 2" Mead flip mirror, Canon 10D DSLR and a 10mm Pentax eyepiece.

The Yahoo discussion group for this scope was very useful to me as I was learning several of the details associated with operation of the mount and care of the scope its self.

Through a local retailer, I was connected into a fabulous group of local astronomy folks called the Ottawa Valley Astronomy & Observers Group. This group of
amateur astronomy enthusiasts is a very inclusive group interested in helping members new and old to progress along the hobby at whatever pace your comfortable with. A challenge and concern to all of us is having reliable access to good observing sites. Through the diligent efforts of many individuals the group has negotiated access to some quality sites. Of course the longer the drive from the sky glow of the city the better the payoffs. The darkest sites I've observed at are the Foymont site and La VĂ©rendrye abandoned air strip.

In 2004 I added the Orion 80mm ED APO Refractor Optical Tube Assembly. This small refractor with it's faster focal ratio was able to me mounted "piggyback" on the C9.25 and served several functions as a over sized finder scope, auto guiding scope, visual observation and photographic scope. The wider field for view was also very complementary to the narrower maximum FOV of the C9.25. Always having both scopes on the mount together allowed me to enjoy each every night out and depending on the object either one scope of the other would be best suited.

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