The “Rising Stars Corner” is a chance to share some Novice and Tutorial type info with new members
and/or for the benefit of those are just thinking about getting into amateur astronomy (our Rising
Stars). If the series seems useful to you, let me know what kinds of items you might be interested in
for future Rising Stars Corners.

This month’s tidbits are:

1) If you think you’d like to try your hand at Night photography (and would like some free lessons)
web tutorial service “CreativeLive” is having “Night Photography Week” during the week of
September 12th-16th. They usually charge for these courses, but if you RSVP and watch them
live, there is no charge. Most of the techniques they plan to cover only require a camera and
tripod, so all of the telescope-aided astrophotography subtleties are not required. If interested,
check it out at https://www.creativelive.com/night-photography-week
2) If you’ve wondered how to get an equatorial mount set up and working, check out a recent
Eyes on the Sky web cast titled “How to Align and Equatorial Mount” at https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=plx6XXDgf2E. David Fuller takes much of the mystery out of it.
3) For new and “observing hardware challenged” members, last month we noted that we had two
(2) new candidate club loaner scopes in process. The following is an update on these:
a. The first scope has been checked out and assigned to Kent Rimey’s loving care. It is a
Maksutov-Cassegrain with a long focal ratio, so it provides lots of magnification in a
small package. To protect it and also make it easy to use, a compact, foldable, table was
added so Kent is all set up to join in the observing and outreach sessions coming up.
B e l ow i s a p h o t o o f t h e s c o p e s e t u p o n i t ’s n ew t a b l e .
b. The second scope was a 125 Maksutov-Cassegrain and, after further checkout, it turned
out to have mechanical problems in the integrated drive unit. It has since been “deforked”
from the integrated drive and adapted so that it can be swapped out with the
refractor scope on the equatorial drive (Go-To) loaner that Eleanor Harris has been
using. Eleanor has recently acquired her own scope, but after she checks out the new
Mak-Cass unit on the club mount, the combination will be ready for loaning to another
club member. For reference, the equatorial mount it is a larger and more complex unit
than comes with most of the other loaner scopes, so it will take some learning curve
persistence to master its use. The matching tripod, in a Meade bag, from the original
donated unit will also be available for a club member to borrow if that will help with
their present setup.

A dew heater may also be added for protection against the Florida dew we have on
most nights. The sun filter that came with the new Mak-Cass, if the spotter scope is
capped, will enable the scope to provide sun spot, as well as night sky views. I plan to
take the unit to Pine Glades for set up and check out at that event in the coming weeks,
so come and check it out and maybe take it home. Contact Steve Schiff or myself if
you’re interested in giving this nice scope a good “club loaner” home. People at
outreach events like Loggerhead should really enjoy the views it can provide! Below is a
photo of the loaner on a mount similar to the one that it will be provided with.

Photos may be found in the September 2016 newsletter.