Monday, January 24, 2011

Craigslist Pickup... Celestron Astromaster 114EQ

I was checking out Criagslist in my area and saw a used Celestron Astromaster 114EQ scope for sale. This is a relatively inexpensive scope ~$150 new and with all of the original contents intact except for the box. I looked it over and it was indeed very clean. I grabbed it for a song and look forward to using it soon.

The CAM114EQ is a solidly built (although mostly plastic OTA) and basic scope. The key things that drew me to it were the very solid legs of the tripod. It uses solid stainless steel tubes for the legs instead of the much more common hollow aluminum extrusion legs on most cheaper scopes. It also has a focal length of 1000mm which is good since it doesn't duplicate my Coulter Odyssey's focal length of 1,500mm. The shorter focal length should give me a wider view of the sky and include some peripheral stars to the moon if I so wish. When used with my APS-C sized sensor in my Canon 30D, it should give me a nice 1,600mm focal length. With my Coulter Odyssey, the combination yields 2,400mm.

The much smaller size of this scope should allow me to use it as a grab and go scope as well as a nice vacation scope. The Coulter is just too large to take on vacation!

Anyway, here's the link to the Celestron site with information on the Astromaster 114EQ.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Full Lunar Eclipse of 12-21-10

I was able to get out that night and luckily, the skies were clear for us here in the DC area. It was indeed cold though. I am a bit out of practice but I did get this nice shot of the moon during the total eclipse portion.

It wasn't as bright red as the last full lunar eclipse, but it certainly looked gorgeous!

More later,