I went out around 9:30 with my 2.4 inch Tasco. It seemed to perform very well tonight. I looked at the Orion Nebula M42, and at M43. I'm still using the 12.5 mm and 4mm eyepieces that came with the scope. These provide 56x and 175x. Using the general rule that you can get 50x for every inch of aperture the Tasco should get 120x. Realisticly 100x is as far as it can go and still get a crisp image. I was managing to get a good image at 175x. Good, not perfect. I can only say it was a good night and I'm not going to ask why. Trapezium looked good. I used it for a focusing reference. I also found M108 and M97 the owl nebula (I think). It was around 10:55 and 18 degrees outside. They are near Ursa Major beta. At 56x what I was looking at was so dim I'm not sure I was looking at the correct objects. They were very small dim fuzzy points of light. I had them both in the same field of view. Nothing spectacular but i can speculate I found them.
My Father bought a Meade model 4500 today. We took it out tonight after we assembled it with ease. It is a straight newtonian reflector. It has a 4.5 inch primary mirror and a 910mm focal length. It focuses smoothly and gives clear images through the 1.25 inch 25mm eyepiece it came with. It has a nice aluminum tripod and an equitorial mount with worm-gear controls. It's great!
I understand club member Josh Reil has the same model scope.
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