On returning home from an interesting meeting of MKAS (devoted to imaging!) a clear(ish) sky tempted me to try for some images. The two hours I spent trying, however, yielded no results but only more problems to solve. The Leo trio of M65 , M66 & NGC 3628 are a tight fit in the field of my main scope and I spent a lot of time aligning the camera only to find that I couldn't pick up a suitable guide star to use once I had got them nicely in view. Not to waste the session I moved on to M51 only to find that a good guide star for this was also elusive. A further problem was that the declination drive was failing when the scope was pointing at higher elevations. I've since found that the clutch was slipping so the telescope obviously presents more of a load on the drive when nearer the zenith. Though I've now given the guidescope a bit more movement I suspect the guide star problem was partly due to the scope having been knocked out of focus slightly. Another clear night now needed to see if remedies have been effective....After much deliberation I have taken the plunge and ordered myself an apo for wide field imaging so am now looking forward to having a more versatile system.
Posted by P at 23.3.09