Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Roadtesting the Orion Steadypix adapter for the iPhone

Well it finally arrived, not because they were slow in delivering, but because I finally got around to ordering the quintessential adapter/tool/dongle.....(its not really an app) for the iPhone - The Orion Steadypix camera adapter.

Well folks, you know when you lie awake at night thinking "what could I invent, get made up in China for a couple of dollars and sell 50,000 of before anyone else thought of it". Well the Steadypix is just one of those things.

Regular readers of my blog will remember my ham-fisted attempt to create one myself.

Remember all those cartoons about "as the architect designed it, as the engineer built it.....and how the customer got it.

Well this is what it looks like, when someone who knows what they are doing, designs and builds it (queue free plug for Orion Optics).

Silly me (after trying to collimate my telescope with a laser collimator and the barlow still in....d'oh) I had realized I'd also forgotten to charge up the battery so the dobby was unable to be guided. So not a bad result at all considering there was a little drift of the image to account for.

The moon is so bright through a telescope you need a lunar filter to kill off some of the light. Most entry level telescopes come with this filter included. Also, you soon learn that the full moon is not the best time to look at the moon through a telescope. Targeting limb of the shadow zone gives the best results as the suns rays are hitting the surface at a low angle and illuminate all kinds of detail, from the edges and centers of craters to impact trains, valleys and ridges. Its almost like being in the command module of Apollo 11.

Diligent observers have also witnessed transient events where gases escape from fissures in the surface and are illuminated as they rise through the shadow zone.

More recently some observation programs look for meteors in the "dark of the Moon" when meteor showers are in progress. The science of the moon is very much alive!

All in all a pretty good result - Enjoy.


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