SkyWatcher 90mm Maksutov

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SkyWatcher 90mm Maksutov

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:03 am

The Society has recently acquired one of these "baby Maksutovs", which I had the opportunity to try out last night. This design packs a long focal length (1250mm) into a small tube, so this 'scope is great for viewing planets at high magnification.

I was also testing a home-made table-top alt-az mount - a very light and compact way of using this 'scope:

With the red-dot finder (which I'd aligned earlier in the day), Jupiter was easy to find and as the seeing was quite stable, its cloud-belts were very clear even with the supplied 20mm eyepiece. I tried the 10mm eyepiece, but this wasn't so good - however using the 20mm with my (Parks Optics) Barlow-lens gave a significant improvement, and I could then see much more surface detail. And even at this magnification (x125), the planet took more than a minute to drift across the field-of-view.
Even though the planet was sinking in the sky, the view did improve as the evening wore on - due to the air inside the OTA reaching thermal equilibrium and settling down.

I also noted that with the 20mm eyepiece fitted (no Barlow-lens), the field is large enough to get the whole Moon in.

So this is an ideal little 'scope for "grab & go" lunar & planetary observing - you can be set up in under a minute (but best to leave it to cool outside for a while first).

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