I wanted to image Venus 'as Morning Star' but because of my restricted horizon I can only do that when the Sun is already shining for hours.
The problem is: how to find Venus in broad daylight?
And - as I paid for it - I wanted to use the GoTo capabilities of my LX200 of course.
Here is what I did:
Oh yes: I indeed found Venus !
- My permanent setup is perfectly Polar Aligned and the latitude and longitude are correctly stored in the memory of the LX200
- I start each session by uploading the correct time to the LX200, which tends to be a bit slow
I always take care that my laptop has the correct time, which I verify with this atomic clock (in UT)
- As I use the Sun as calibration star I take the following precautions: OTA capped, finder with solar filter !!!!!!
- Skymap running on my laptop; connected to the LX200
- In Skymap I clicked the sun and did a slew to the sun: the result was - as
expected - way off
- I manually centred the Sun in the finder and did a 'sync' in Skymap: now the LX200 and Skymap were synchronised
- In Skymap I clicked Venus and did a GoTo to Venus
- I removed the solar filter from the finder scope and peered through the finder: No Venus:-\
Aaah: Venus was hiding behind the crossing of the cross hairs! Nice pointing :o)
- I removed the cap from the OTA, mounted my webcam and imaged.
March 15, 2006 08:56 UT.
Venus as Morning Star.
Current distance: 90 million km; Magnitude: -4.5; Phase: 0.440; Phase angle: 96.9; Elongation: 46.2; Diameter: 27.72 arc seconds.