12/23/2018 Comet P46/Wirtanen

I had my first opportunity to try to image the comet tonight. With a small window of opportunity before the Moon rose I traveled light and just set the DSLR on a tripod. This is a 30 second shot at ISO 6400. Maybe in a few days it will be clear again and I can use the SCT. The bright star at the top is Capella, the comet is a little lower and to the left.

Comet P46 Wirtanen in Aurigae

12/7/2018 – 15×70 Binoculars

I just got some 15×70 binoculars. Nominally for astronomy, I can see these being used for birding as well, mainly as an alternative to a spotting scope. The 70mm objectives will bring in a lot of light. For astronomy, I’ll use them with a parallelogram mount I built a couple years ago. For birding, with a conventional tripod. I arranged to have them delivered during Winter Storm Diego so that I can’t be blamed for the cloudy weather, it was already here.

11/22/2018 New Rocker Box for Molly

I built a new rocker box for Molly the 16 inch Dobsonian telescope today. She has been top heavy and required a counterweight (an elastic cord) since I built her about 20 months ago. The new rocker box is 4.5 inches taller which allowed me to raise the bearings up and shift the 24 pound mirror back by the same amount. Obviously I’m not done, there is stain and poly to do not to mention attaching laminate and the ground board but I think the problem is solved. The picture shows her tilted nearly horizontal with an eyepiece and everything with no kind of counterweight and she handles it just fine.