I got a new telescope, one that makes my old telescope look like one of those plastic magnifying glasses you find buried in a box of cracker jacks. It’s a Celestron reflector with a nice wide opening that lets lots of light in. If you’re shopping for a telescope, you really want to look for two big things: a sturdy tripod, and the biggest diameter you can afford. The diameter of the opening dictates how many photons the telescope can see. More photons = more light. More light = more of what you can see. Reflection power doesn’t mean crap. Go for diameter.
To give you an idea of the magnitude of the telescope, here is a picture of the trees on Matia Island, which is about 3 miles away from our house.
You can see woodpeckers if you look hard enough. Seriously, this telescope gets up close and personal. I can sort of fit my camera over the eyepiece to get pics like that. It’s not perfect but I think I can devise some way of fastening it securely and maybe find a fine-tune focus knob to get crisper images.
Now, here is a picture of the moon, which is 238,900 miles from our house.
I hope to get crisper images and once I can get the camera better secured to the telescope I can connect it all to the laptop and I’ll have my own little observatory right out on my front desk.
Being on the north slope of a mountain, most planets rise and set out of my view. And being on Orcas, clear nights are not very common. So I’ll have to be opportunistic to get some nice pics of planets and things up there. I’ve seen Jupiter’s moons through my camera’s zoom lens before, so I think I can do better once I get this new telescope fully set up.
A special and heartfelt thanks to Charlie, Judy and Mindy for conspiring to bequeath the telescope to me in the first place. I promise to be a worthy custodian, and when/if ever I take cool pics with it I’ll be sure to post them here. Thanks, guys. This telescope is a lot of fun up here.