New Telescope!  Tested on the 23% Moon

New Telescope! Tested on the 23% Moon

April 12th, 2024, 9:19 p.m. local time

This post marks the start of a new era in my astrophotography adventure. At the start of this year, I decided it was time for a modest upgrade of my telescope equipment. My 254mm homemade Dobsonian is fine for wide-field manual observation, but my 127mm Mak-Cass from Orion has become a limiting factor beyond photographing the Moon and Sun. While I will not outright replace my 5″ tube, I wanted to get a new setup for photography and viewing that is closer in aperture to the Dobsonian, but still relatively manageable for nighttime sky sessions.

I will discuss the fate of my 127mm telescope when I finally get around to writing my article on the Solar Eclipse (soon!), but the new telescope I purchased is a Celstron NexStar Evolution 9.25″. This night was the first time I tried it, and it worked perfectly.

My new 9.25″ Schmidt-Cassegrain, with a dew protector.

This telescope takes considerably longer to set up, and I have not even tried the Celestron Pro Wedge (equatorial mount adapter), which I know will add even more time to the setup. Still, the individual components are not that heavy for me, and the superiority of the Celestron heavy duty tripod is amazing in how stable the image is, even which tracking. Manual alignment (I also have a “star sense” auto-align finder, which I will try later; tonight was meant as the basic optics check) via the stock control panel was easy, and it only needed two stars versus three stars for the Orion equipment. And it should be noted that this Evolution telescope has a built-in battery, a key feature for why I bought this Celeston.

The final image of the Moon, the telescope’s inaugural target, is below. I was stunned by how well the alt-azimuth auto-tracking kept the Moon in the eyepiece and stable. In post-processing, subsequent images were all so well lined up, I could not tell the difference from one image to another. Normally, there is noticeable movement from image to image with my other two telescopes, taking pictures with no auto-tracking, just manually nudging the telescope every few seconds.

Moon on April 12th, 2024

Equipment Used:

  • Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25 Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • 235mm aperture
  • 40mm eyepiece
  • No eyepiece filter
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • Smartphone telescope eyepiece adapter
  • NightCap app on iPhone
  • Apple Watch for NightCap remote shutter
  • f/1.8
  • 1/120 sec exposure
  • ISO 57
  • Focal length: 7mm
  • Touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.