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[ Mariner Home | Introduction | Optics | Plans | Final |
Construction I | Construction II | Construction III | Construction IV ]
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First Light

We've been having awful smoke from the 2012 forest fires blowing into Utah from Idaho, but I didn't let that stop us from pulling it out the first night we could!

Since I don't have an obseratory yet, I had intended to leave the scope setup in the garage, and roll it out for observing sessions. There's too much clunking around doing this, so now I disassemble the truss, so the mirror can sit flat in the cell.

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Setup constituted getting everything attached and aligned, collimation, shroud, and so on. As you can see, everyone was pretty excited, especially my daughter!

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After setup, there was a bit of waiting for it to get dark enough to see something! Eventually stars came out and we toodled around stars until it dark enough for deep sky stuff. :-)

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First light was on 8 Sept 2012. The first light object was Albireo (an old tradition of mine -- it has been the first light object for every telescope I've built). I was out from about 7:15pm MDT to 1:15AM MDT (moonrise). Our final observing list was: Albireo, Mizar/Alcor, Polaris, M57, M13, 6207, M31/32/110, M103, 457, M11, Veil Nebula E/W, M51/5195, M27, Double Cluster, M8, M20, M17, M16, M15, M101, 7457, 7331, Stephan's Quintet, 891, 5907, 7662, TX Piscis (carbon), M92, M71, 7293, 7606, 7723, 7727, 7619/7626, 7448, M33, M45, Jupiter. :-)

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Cosmos Mariner: the final telescope

I've had the scope out several times at this point, and she's a beauty! After first light, I made two immediate changes:
  1. the batteries got moved to the back of the mirror box, instead of the front. I had them on the front initially, thinking to counter balance the finder near zenith. As it turns out, near zenith the large bearings want to pull the scope down toward horizontal because a large portion of them sticks out in front of the GND side of the scope. Moving the batteries to the back of the mirror box cured this perfectly; the scope is extremely well balanced now.
  2. I ordered a 4" riser for my Telrad. The RACI finder is huge, and I was constantly bumping my head on it to get to the Telrad. The risers cured this perfectly. I still don't like using the Telrad from the ground -- I can only see one ring -- so I may have to put a second one on eventually.
Here are some pictures of the changes, final pictures of Mariner, and comparison pictures with Equinox.

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[ Mariner Home | Introduction | Optics | Plans | Final |
Construction I | Construction II | Construction III | Construction IV ]
Click images to embiggen them!
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Last Updated: 25 September 2012