Imaging: Several Small Faint Galaxies
Posted: 11 June 2012
Opened the observatory Sunday, 10 June, at 1918 MST, 92°F. The sky was clear with only a slight breeze blowing. At 1925 MST, 7 minutes before sunset, viewed Mercury, 77X and 133X, low in the western sky. Disk was visible but needed 206X to see the gibbous phase. At 1954 MST, viewed Saturn, 77X and 364X; 3 moons were visible. At 2009 MST, a fourth moon became visible at 364X. Cassini Division very distinct. At 2015 MST, I saw the first two Kissing Bugs of the night.
At 2034 MST, mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus + Off-Axis Guider. Did a focus test on Spica using the Bahtinov Mask; locked the focus. Slewed to NGC6217, the first of 8 small faint galaxies I planned to image this night. After some initial problems (the camera strap caught on the telescope GPS receiver housing, causing the camera to rotate and a camera button to be depressed), I was finally able to begin imaging at 2116 MST. For many of the images I could only find faint guide stars, making guiding challenging. I acquired the following images, slightly cropped from the full-frame, guided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400:
NGC5566 and NGC5560 to the upper left and the faint NGC5569 to the lower left
NGC5638 and the fainter NGC5636 to the left
NGC5713 (and a satellite trail)
NGC5427 and NGC5426 to the right
Ended imaging at 2327 MST.
Closed the observatory at 2350 MST, 72°F. Three Kissing Bugs deleted from this world.
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