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Observation Report
Sacramento, Monday, February 26, 2001

by: Mark E. Hansen

I just ordered a new Meade ED127 APO from Scope City, which is due in April, and thought I'd pull out my 10" Starfinder while I'm waiting.

It's really been a while since I've used it, and you wouldn't believe the dust inside the tube and on the primary mirror. I also found that the secondary mirror was just rattling around on the (cheaply designed) spider. With some help from Sam and crew at Scope City the scope is roughly collimated and ready to go.

By the way, has anyone had any experience with the folks at Scope City in San Francisco?

The only clear view of Venus would be from the side walk in front of my house, complete with streetlights, driveway security lights, etc., but I decided to set up there anyway. I realy just wanted a simple tour of the planets...

The eyepiece of choice for the night was a loaner 26mm Super Plossl and a 2x barlow. I found it interesting that I was easily able to make out both the northern and southern equatorial bands in Jupiter's atmosphere. I don't remember ever seeing them this well. Perhaps there is something to having the mirrors properly lined up afterall ;-)

A couple of the neighborhood kids came by and we had a great time just taking a tour of the solor system.

We got to see Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon (complete with crater wall shadows) and the Orion Nebula, M42 (although I only counted 4 stars in the center ... hmmmm, going to have to have another look tonight ;-)

It was really a joy to see the kids so interested. Have we hooked another one? I hope so.

Does anyone else have a Meade APO ED Refractor? I sure would like to hear some stories while I'm waiting for mine... ;-)

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