Clear Night of Winter

There are rarely any clear nights during the Canadian winter. That’s why this night of clarity was not to be missed. On December 7, 2014, after bundling myself in two layers of jackets, and a scarf, I went outside, with my telescope, to image Orion.

After assembling, and aligning my telescope to the Full Moon, I was ready to explore the night sky.

The whole time I was there, I experienced problem after problem, and I was able to conquer them all though. For example, I found Orion, but it was a very dim gas cloud from my eyepiece. I needed to image it, but my father’s camera had no liveview. I had to use the internal viewfinder, which couldn’t see Orion, which means I couldn’t focus properly. I could see Jupiter, though.

I slewed to Jupiter and focused the camera. After a few images, I slewed to M42 and started imaging it. Each image turned out bad, because of significant trailing from the telescope. Tracking is still a major issue. I soon decided to image the Moon out of frustration.

I tried imaging M45, but trailing was too great to get a good image. Looking closely at the eyepiece, I realize that there was a one second delay from my command to its response. I tested it by going to M42, and imaging it. The results are here, and they confirm what I feared.

I soon packed up and went back inside, because my battery died. This session was quite productive. I saw M42, and Jupiter, and found a problem to correct on my telescope.


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