First Light
Takahasi FSQ 106 Refractor & EM-200 Temma Mount
2/8/02 - Anza, CA
My first night out with the new scope was at the Orange County Astronomers site at Anza, CA.  It was cold and very windy but clear.  The scope was great.  Visual images were sharp and color free but brief as I think a telescope is basically a large camera holder.  The real pleasure was in the mount.  Itís solid as a brick and steady even in high winds.  The polar alignment was strait forward and I achieved 3 to 5 minutes unguided exposures without drift alignment.  Nirvana!  The short 540mm foal length provided an image scale of 3.5 arcseconds per pixel with my ST8 CCD and made the tracking of the mount easy.  I had planned to guide using my STV but had some scope balancing problems.  I turned to the internal guider in my ST8 and easily found guide stars first and every time.  There were a few first night glitches but none were fatal.  All in all, I think it was a good start.
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M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy in Ursa Major
M65, M66 & NGC3628
Galaxies in Leo
M81 & M82
Galaxies in Ursa Major
M42 & M43 - The Great Orion Nebula
M105, NGC3384 & NGC3389
Galaxies in Leo
M53 Globular Cluster in Coma Berenices