Star Log 2022-09-27 23:00 AKDT (Fairbanks, AK, US)
I received the reflector which my friend offered to loan me. It turned out to be a Celestron PowerSeeker 127 with manual German equatorial mount. This instrument has a five inch aperature. I had been wanting a six-inch system or higher, but I'm hoping it will be an improvement over my 60mm refractor, as far as light-gathering power. I really wanted to try an equatorial mount, so that is great.
Unfortunately it shows some signs of poor care and storage. The mirror looks really dirty, so I guess I'll need to take it apart to get to that. I was confused for quite a while trying to get the focuser attached to the focus knob system, but eventually I realized that the problem was that the part it connects to had been jammed all the way down into the telescope case, up against the 45 degree mirror.
The skies suddenly and unexpectedly became clear around nightfall, so I decided I would go ahead and try out the reflector, even though I hadn't had time to study the mount system, or get things cleaned up properly. This proved to be a bad idea, as I spent a lot of frustrating time trying to learn the mount system in the dark, and the image was very dim and highly blurry, even with careful tuning of the focus knob — quite unusable. The spot scope didn't seem to be working at all, for some reason that wasn't obvious. Clearly, I've got some more work to do before this telescope is ready for use.
I was getting tired and didn't feel like I had time to get out my refractor, so I spent the next 45 minutes or so looking around with my 50mm binoculars, and then went inside. That 45 minutes was spent mainly looking around Cygnus and Cassiopia. I tried to look again for M 15 near Pegasus, but I couldn't get a good viewing angle for it, due to a very bright and inconveniently placed streetlamp.