In many cases, before we take our telescope to the backyard, we usually make a list of the sky objects that we would like to see tonight. I used to do that and I believe many of you do the same. But how about just making a free run? Meaning that you just rotate your telescope around the sky and try to find some interesting stuff. Will it be as fun as finding objects in your list? Well, I am here to answer this question and give you an idea how it looks like.
Configuration of the day
Instead of the heavy and chunky backache causing EQ setup, I will use a really simple configuration today. I could have used the SLT130 mount without the tube but it is kind of overkill too.
I used Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Equatorial Wedge Base for Altazimuth mount. The gear on the altitude axis is quite convenient whereas the Azimuth is kind of fixed. But as you might already be noticed the tripod head is freely moving in the Azimuth direction.
As a main lighting lens, Samyang 85mm F2 manual lens is used. The lenses from Samyang are usually well known for their quality and good value for money. Lens to EQ base fixture is 3D printed and so as E-Mount to 50mm adaptor for Astorid. Now, everything is ready. Let's take it to the backyard.
The method is simple. Low exposure time is used to make the system responsive and high gain to amplify faint light from the space and make it easy to be recognized. Once an object is found, EAA stacker is enabled to make a better visualization by the built-in image processing algorithms such as live registration, stacking, gamma correction, and etc. The following video shows the highlights of the experiment.
The result was fantastic. I was planning to spend few minutes on a short feasibility test but when I check the clock 30 minutes has passed already. Take away Well, it was obviously super fun. But you might think "can't we do the same thing with Sony A7S?". The differences are the auto-registration feature and built-in image processing. And, of course, you can cast it to a larger screen like a tablet or even a TV. But one thing that I felt lacking was there is no means of knowing the name of what I am observing. Wouldn't this suggest where Astroid should go next? We will see. Note: For those who want to try the same configuration, note that the lens for mirrorless camera is not very recommended due to the focal length problem. You can open the camera and use a short supporter to sort this problem out but I would just use a non-mirrorless lens.