I managed to stay out for about 2 hours tonight. 30 degrees is just too cold to sit at a table in front of a laptop.......working with a host of problems. Nothing new, I have a USB connection on my camera that is loose.....which cuts off the camera if you so much as breathe on the cord. The computer kept giving me error messages.....it barely tolerates the Meade camera software (which really isn't supposed to work with Vista....but does most of the time). I had the usual difficulties with my tracking. I can usually solve them with enough trial and error.....tweaking of the hand controller. But.....tonight, it was just too damn cold to fight these problems. In addition, the seeing was mediocre......spent a lot of time focusing...with little success. Transparency was excellent however.
Here are two very poor images of M42/43 and the Running Man......easy to see the alignment/tracking issues with the oblong stars. I need to get some hand warmers, and wear my thermal underwear next time. By the time I gave up and went in, I was freezing (even with a wool shirt, hooded sweatshirt, and a hooded parka). At least my hands weren't totally frozen. My wife bought me a sweatshirt with extra long sleeves with fingerless mittens built in......they kept my hands reasonably warm and still allowed use of my fingers. I have tried wearing gloves, but it is a hassle taking them off and on.