Monday, July 23, 2018

Another Note from Nick in Spokane, Washignton . . .

Hi Dennis. Last night was clear from my suburban front yard and an ideal night to test out my new 13.1" Swayze /  DobStuff telescope!  A waxing gibbous moon was high in the south about 8:30.  It took about 10 minutes total to attach the poles and collimate - seconary axial alignment is simple with the provided spring / adjustment screws.

At 120x, the moon was impressive - details in Tycho's rays and the southern highlands just popped.  Fortuitously, Jupiter then 

peeked out from behind a tree.  I was able to catch a shadow-transit of Europa in less-than-ideal skies and pick up flashes of detail on the planetary disk that I had not seen before. Saturn was next - I've often struggled to resolve the Cassini gap. Not tonight - it was obvious again at 120x, as was banding on the surface and distinct variations in color.

The scope looks very cool and I give Dennis the bulk of the credit for that - his craftsmanship is obvious immediately. Several neighbors walked by to see what the heck I was up to and were treated to first-time views of Saturn and Jupiter - lucky them :)

I learned a lot with this project - about optics, simple woodworking, and staining.  It took me about 2 months from start to finish, working on weekends. About half of that was staining, sanding, and re-staining. This would have taken much less time if I knew what I was doing.

Scope movements are just fine (I need to cut the grass for better az movement :P).  I cannot wait to get this instrument to darker skies.

Clear Skies,

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