First Light! - SM60

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DamienCannane
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First Light! - SM60

Post by DamienCannane » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:18 am

Hi there,

I himmed and hawed about buying a dedicated solar telescope for over a year - and asked many questions on forums during that span. I had been considering the PST and the Lunt 50mm, but the real apple of my eye was the Coronado SolarMax 60. But I always backed away from that one...it was too much. How could I justify spending so much for an OTA that can only observe one object? Since I had the chance to see beautiful red prominences during totality back in August, this temptation had gotten harder to resist.

Well, I awoke Friday morning to read an email announcing Meade's sale on most of their Coronado scopes. 30% off! This was the permission I'd been waiting for. I could buy the SolarMax for no more than a double stack PST! By that afternoon, I had placed my order: A SolarMax 60 single stack with 15mm blocking filter from High Point!

It arrived Wednesday around 1:30, and we somehow avoided the "new gear curse". Our usual cloudy skies cleared up for about 2 hours. All I can say is "WOW"! What a sight! My 6-year-old put it best when he finally got his little eye focused on a beautiful prominence: "Daddy that is awesome! This is definitely the coolest thing I've seen in a telescope!" :hamster:

Never content with visually observing, I had to grab my laptop and throw my ASI224MC into the diagonal. I know that monochrome is preferable, but one large purchase at a time, please. :lol: The first thing I'll say about this is that it's REALLY hard to see the image on my laptop screen in daylight, even with a blanket thrown over my head an the screen. I wonder if there's an accessibility setting in Windows 10 that might increase the contrast and make fine focus easier. Lucky for me, the recently quiet chromosphere was displaying a nice filament that gave me something to zero-in on. (I followed the quite logical advice from one of the many YouTube tutorials and did my etalon tuning first visually, and then left it alone after inserting the camera)

A big thank you to Marty Wise, whose tutorial I found especially helpful. For the most part, I was able to follow it all the way through from capture, to stacking, to post-processing in Photoshop.

Here are the results of my First Light, along with a few gear photos. Thanks for reading!


Damien
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mattwastell
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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by mattwastell » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:20 am

Congratulations - a worthy spend foe sure. Now we just need to wait for some real action!
Matt Wastell



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ffellah
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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by ffellah » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:16 pm

A good first result, Damien. I love the pictures of the kids....

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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by robert » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:44 pm

Looks good
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Christopher
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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by Christopher » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:52 pm

Congratulations Damien on the new scope and the happy kids! :D Great disk. I also used Marty’s tutorial. He packs a lot of info into that video. Great resource for us newbs. Clear skies!
Christopher

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Montana
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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by Montana » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:52 pm

Fantastic!! the best bit was " Daddy this is awesome" hopefully the next generation of space scientists :)

Beautiful picture too, you will not regret getting a solar scope, every view is amazing :hamster: :bow
Alexandra

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Re: First Light! - SM60

Post by marktownley » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:34 am

Nice new toy! Glad the kids love it too. You'll all have lots of fun with it.
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