By Y. Ryabov, G. Yankovsky
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This is one 22 Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs of the most important points I have to emphasize, and adjustments of the primary mirror in larger increments than this are one of the reasons so many people experience difﬁculties with collimation. For a Newtonian, the use of a Cheshire eyepiece and sighting tube will make this procedure more straightforward, and is actually a necessity with short focal lengths. Laser collimating devices available today may produce fractionally better results with careful use, but they are by no means essential, and may actually be less satisfactory to use than the Cheshire.
The rest of the time we have to learn to make the most of what we have. Motorized focus can also assist you; it completely removes the tremor of hand focusing in the slight increments at the higher powers that planetary viewing requires. Such devices are readily available, relatively inexpensively, for retroﬁtting on most telescopes. JMI is famous for them. During these extended sessions, the need for equatorial or other excellent tracking capabilities becomes all the more important. This is not to say that I always had them, and good results can certainly be enjoyed with a lot less.
Color images of surprisingly ﬁne quality can be obtained with monochrome CCD video cameras taken through various color ﬁlters, later processed and combined on computer to produce ﬁne full-color images of exceptional resolution. There are also color CCD video cameras available, such as the Astrovid PlanetCam. They are able to produce remarkably good planetary and lunar images in full color, live, and without the need for combining images taken through different ﬁlters, although they are not as light sensitive as mono- 36 Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs chrome versions.
An Elementary Survey of Celestial Mechanics by Y. Ryabov, G. Yankovsky