Time: 2012-03-24 22:30 – 2012-03-25 01:30 CDT ( 2012-04-25 03:30 – 06:30 UTC )
Location: 93d36 ‘W 41d44’N
Conditions: ~60 F, clear, no moon
Trans: 2/5, Seeing: 3/5
* Meade DS-90 90mm refractor telescope + assorted eyepieces
* Logitech C525 CCD webcam at prime focus
What I Saw
This was a first test using my nice 1.25″ eyepieces in the Meade DS-90 on planets, and I was pretty happy with it so far. I have also recently received an inexpensive ($32 US, AgenaAstro.com) GSO 1.25″ 2x Barlow lens that I like quite a lot. I have yet to take the time to get a good enough look at Saturn to see the Cassini division. As it rises higher earlier in the evening as spring goes on, that will happen soon enough though. I also managed to get a live video stream of Saturn on the Internet for about 1.5 hours on my Ustream.tv channel, and later in a Google+hangout with another amateur astronomer in Indiana. I also decided that I need to work on the (cheap) plastic rack and pinion focuser on this scope, it’s somewhat dreadful. After stacking 2231 video frames of Saturn in RegiStax I confirmed my suspicion that either seeing was not great, focus was off, optics of the main objective are not great, or a little of each.
* M13, globular cluster, Hercules
I noticed (after being reminded by aforementioned Indiana astronomer) that Hercules was up and quite high in the sky just about as I was starting to finish up for the night, so I decided to try and get a peek with with the DS-90 at one of the best globular clusters in the sky. Seeing/transparency were marginal, but with a 20mm lens I was able to see a nice fuzzy glob and could barely resolve a few stars around the outside when using averted vision. These objects are SO MUCH better in my 10″ Zhumell Dob.