Orion Atlas EQ-G
Went to the Orion Telescope store in Cupertino just to buy a 182mm tube rings for my other telescope, the Celestron C6N, an old telescope that I wasn’t really able to use that much. This time wanting to fix it and learn a couple of skills such as collimating and aligning.
For some reason, already went out of the store and started the car but just can’t take my eyes on it, went back and couldn’t control my compulsive buying. Left with it unfortunately got home and the weather forecast wasn’t that good as it’s cloudy and rained for the next 4 days.
Got home and unboxed it and figured out that I don’t have the AC adapter. Good thing that I have the Celestron PowerTank that I can use the car batter adapter. Assembled to make sure everything is working, but ooopppss, the hand controller have a very old firmware, the motor controller have a very old firmware, and the motor when slewing sounds very noisy and something is not right.
Finally, clear skies, went outside my backyard and tried it. Spent a whole lot of time aligning it comparing to the Celestron AVX. Mounted, placed the telescope, waited for the Polaris to show up and did a 1, 2, 3 star aligment. Again something is odd, it doesn’t point to the right direction by a complete hemisphere. Pointed to the star in the western hemisphere but pointed on the eastern hemisphere. It was a complete disaster. Only one conclusion, return or replace.
Went back to the store talked about the problem but they couldn’t believe what was wrong with it. The guy in the store tried it and obviously the motor doesn’t sound good so the head was replaced.
Again went home and opened it and see the major difference. The hand controller is newer with the latest firmware. The motors are so quiet and smooth. Probably I got a bad old copy of the mount.
It’s time to test it, alignment was so easy, choosing the stars for alignment was a breeze, a complete turn on my first experience on setting it up.
First target, Andromeda Galaxy, to test the Celestron f/6.x focal reducer/corrector. Made some error on tracking and using a very long exposure, the result was not very good.
Second target, the Pleaides, not so sure what happened as the result are not very good. Alignment was good but the images did not turn out so good. My post processing capability seems to be lacking.
I was about to give up as it’s already very late when I saw the Orion Nebula and I gave it a shot, pointed the telescope and looked at it and I was very surprised with what I got, a very beautiful nebula so I reset the tracking and the imaging cameras and added all the exposure information. Fired all my automation and slept.
Next morning, I got this very beautiful image, with a very minimal post processing that I did before going to the office.
Software for stacking : DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2
Final image processing : Lightroom
Total number of light images : 13
Total number of flat images : 14
Total number of dark images : 11
Exposure length : 2 hrs and 14 minutes
Orion 80 ED Carbon Fiber Triplet APO
Recently added the Orion 80ED Carbon Fiber Triplet APO to my arsenal. Used the Orion Nebula to test it and the following are the images. A more wide field sense of the Orion’s Belt with the Running Man on the left.
Taken with an old Celestron Newtonian, the stars seems to glow with star pointers very visible. This is a very old telescope, one of my first and still the image is very good.