iOptron Counterweight - A Journey
Tuesday, 4 May 2021 | Tim
The iOptron CEM26 Counterweight arrived very quickly and was well packed. Thanks FLO.
It isn't easy to write a good review of such a complex object, but as requested, here goes:
The immediate thing to notice is that the counterweight is a thing of contrasts. Mainly, it is extremely heavy. The centre however, is the opposite and seems to weigh nothing at all.
It seems that all the mass is distributed in a dense, black band around the invisible, weightless core.
The core is a good example of a White Hole - light is not bent or trapped and the matter is weightless. This can be observed with amateur equipment in the garden under Bortle 9 skies, or in parts of the country like mine, even during the day. As the counterweight is a Near Space Object you do not need to polar align. Rather than slewing to the NSO, you will be able to simply move its frame of reference yourself !! Carefully holding the counterweight up to the sky, with the major diameter fully facing you, presenting at about 6 arc degrees, even those with poor unassisted vision will be able to see clearly THROUGH the circular core. Breathtaking glimses of trees and houses, glittering on a blue velvet backdrop. Quickly changing to stronger and stronger sunglasses reveals the interaction with the light streaming through the core and you will notice it growing dimmer and dimmer. Astounding views. With excellent seeing you may even spot a bird whistling past on its elliptical orbit of the feeder.
Slowly twisting the NSO reveals a Terminator creeping down the perfect junction between the core and the surrounding belt. Very little extra detail is resolved unfortunately, apart from one small, perfectly circular crater, Clampus.
And all this time, the anti-matter in the belt surrounding the core will be trapping every single photon, preventing any faint glow or nebulosity getting through. The belt is quite wide and the anti-matter is uniformly distributed. There is a single jet of matter leaving the belt, directly opposite Clampus and probably created at the same time. A mushroom shaped cloud of anti-matter has formed where the jet slows down. Such symmetry, but still a singular feature. The unfathomable universe at its best.
By this time you may be feeling exhaused, physically and emotionally, so carefully lay the NSO down and have a well deserved glass of something good. Time to reflect on what you have observed.
As with many things of immense value and beauty, such as gold and diamonds, in the end it comes down to what can you actually do with them. Do you put them in a safe at the Bank, or do you risk it all and enjoy using them for something. I decided to use the dense properties of the belt and the permeable nature of the core on my Astro Mount.
I was very fortunate to have received an identical NSO when the Mount was delivered. Now I have a pair, endlessly orbiting in tight, tidal lock in my own garden.
Tim M (a beginner)
Monday, 17 August 2020 | Mel
Good service fast delivery