I got my UHC filter on the weekend, but I also picked up two more things: a laser collimator, which is used to align all of the optics in the telescope (they slowly drift out of whack, or more quickly if you’re not careful with it), and a pair of binoculars. Binoculars might seem a bit redundant, but they’re actually really handy — because they’re low magnification (7X, compared to a low of 46X in the telescope at the moment), you can take in a lot of sky at once, which makes them handy for spotting objects before hunting them down in the telescope.

They’re also perfect for taking a quick look at something, without having to drag the telescope outside. You might not think you’d be able to see much, but the moon looks great, you can spot the moons of Jupiter, open clusters, and the brigher globular clusters too, even if the latter just look like fuzzy smudges.

Unfortunately, the weather has been crap, so I haven’t really had a chance to play much — I tried the UHC filter briefly and was able to spot the Triffid Nebula for the first time, and I’ve checked a few things in the binoculars, but I’m yet to have a good play with either yet. Bring on the clear skies!

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