The MN is a great little package and, to be honest, I was taken completely by surprise. This instrument is stunning! The subjective performance was every bit as good as any 5" APO I've seen. Cratlets on Plato's floor? Sure, no problem. Perfect collimation & stellar images? Yup. After making comparisons between the scopes (the subject of future postings) I bagged & tagged both Intes on their mounts and went inside vowing to get up early and check out Saturn and other morning stuff.
In the morning, with a cup of coffee in my hand and wondering why I DO stuff like this, I de-bagged both instruments and started "observing". First up was the Intes 503 (which will get its own thread later). Excellent. Saturn though low was crisp, M42 beautiful and the seven sisters ravishing. I then moved over to the MN55, inserted the barlow with 12 MM Clave and looked up at Saturn. Hmmmm, it looks good ....but not as good as I had expected compared to the 503, which was ever sooooo softer on the moon the evening before. I pulled in M42. Same result. Then the Pleiades again with the same result. All good but the 503 was giving a better view. I did a star test at higher magnification on the MN55. Well the out of focus image revealed a couple of small shadows next to the shadow of the secondary. Crap, I thought, dirt on the inside of the barlow again. Oh well, it's time to bring the OTAs inside and go to work.
I don't know about you guys, but I always check the dew patterns that form on my scopes when I bring them into the warmer house. First the 503...a nice even coating. Then the MN55...HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP!!!! 8O
There they were, in all of their slinky slimy-ness, two, one half-inch long "garden" slugs, taking a breather after completely exploring every inch of the corrector. Their slime tracks were everywhere on the meniscus. Apparently, over the course of the evening, the little bastards had made their way up the tripod, up the tube and onto the meniscus of my BRAND NEW SCOPE.
Oh well, live and learn I guess. Their snot came off easily with Windex so everything is fine. Kinda ironic though. I suppose it's God's way of saying "Boogah Boogah!!"
Slimed in Cincinnati
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things" 8O