Enjoying a CAT
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Choosing an SCT or other CAT turned out to be a lot of work, but it’s worth it for the reward that’s coming. It’s time to forget about star tests and go-to alignment procedures and just let the telescope do its thing on the sky. Not that all the work is quite over yet. Getting maximum enjoyment from the observing experience means learning how to observe and what to observe.
Observers need to be prepared to face nighttime observing conditions, even if those conditions are merely those of the friendly backyard. This preparation mostly consists of staying warm and keeping insects at bay. A CAT user who is freezing cold or being bitten by skeeters will forget plans for an all-night Messier marathon in a hurry and soon be back inside watching TV.
Even in the summer, keeping warm is a necessity. It’s sometimes difficult to believe a person could get uncomfortably cold on an August night in the deep South. But no matter where the observing site is...