Observing Project 3B Assembly Check

Take all your things into a brightly lighted room and practice assembling and aligning your telescope. With all the lights on, set up the tripod, the equatorial wedge if it is a part of your mount, then put the telescope on it. Then lay out your accessories and go through a dry run of placing eyepieces and other accessories on the telescope, removing them and storing them. Try mounting cameras and other equipment. Set up your computer and get it running. Do everything you will do when you are out in the field. Then when you are done, tear it down as you would in the field.

When you have done all of this and feel comfortable, do it all again in the dark. After all, you will be observing in the dark, so you should feel comfortable with assembling your equipment in the dark. By doing this at home you know you will be comfortable, dry, and if you lose anything you know its not too far away and you can just turn the light on if needed. You will not have that option when you are out in the field so get comfortable at home. Time yourself and see how long it takes. This is important because if you are doing a project that is time-sensitive, such as a Messier Marathon, you have to know how far in advance you need to be ready.

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