I finally got round to installing the AutoStar software on my new laptop. I did contemplate not instaling it and just using the old laptop for the telescope, but having seen a lot of reports of the software working much better on win XP, especially the all important imaging app for the LPI, I decided to give it a try. so far it was easy to do and the telescope is now using the latest software and has the latest object updates installed. I’m happy to report that the Keyspan USB to Serial adapter that Cliff reccomended worked like a dream so my early concerns about using it proved unfounded.

Last night was wonderfully clear, so I had hoped that tonight I’d try and look at Comet 9p/Tempel, the target of the Deep Impact mission. If all goes according to plan the impact will be at around 6am UTC tomorrow am, at which point I shall be in my bed! Apart from the early hour the positionning isn’t ideal for observation from here and the sun will have poked it’s head above the horizon by then. If the skies are clear I will try and look tomorrow night as well. It was partly this desire that prompted me to update the scope as I wanted to ensure that the comet was loaded into the object database (it wasn’t).

I also looked at the manuals during the install and found them to be much more use than I had remembered! They’re installed onto the hard drive now so I can refer to them again if I need.