Scott Donnelly

First Light

Hey everyone, welcome to my new blog. I’ve started this to share my experiences with my new telescope, a 6” SCT. First Light, I’ve plumped for the obvious - Saturn. Managed to get the AS-GT properly aligned for the first time tonight, it’s took a bit of practice! Did a 2-star align on Capella and Sirius, then 2 calibration stars, Procyon and Castor. Immediately did a GoTo to Mars, and bang, dead center in the eyepiece with no visible drift. Decided to do a Polar Align from the HC, with the result being my most accurate align yet, K3CCD reported drift of 2.5” / min. (Anybody else have an AS-GT? is this good, bad, or normal?!)

Had a crack at collimating the scope, resulting in much sharper views than the first time I took the scope out. Still think I haven’t got it spot on though, I’m gonna give metaguide a go next time I think. Anyways, here is the result, here comes the science bit: Celestron C6-SGT, 900 frames at 15fps on a stock SPC900NC via a 2x barlow, captured and processed in K3CCDTools, best 181 frames stacked. Post-processing in K3CCDTools and the GIMP. The skies here in Birmingham are horrendously light polluted, and the seeing was not the best.


Last night happened to be the coldest so far this winter, at -6C! I had to call it quits at 1:30am, when my laptop screen iced over. :-) I kept having to blast the corrector plate with a hair dryer to remove the frost, I kept thinking my collimation had gone out, until I looked at the business end of the scope to see it looked like a shop window that had gone out of business, it was almost opaque!

I got some good practice in prior to next week’s eclipse anyway. I’ve booked the day off and I’m off out into the sticks to orange-free skys. Hopefully the weather will hold out and I can improve on this, but, its a start!