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IC10 Galaxy, NGC896 Nebula, Sirius B (the Pup)

Posted: 31 January 2013

The observatory was opened Wednesday, 30 January 2013, at 1815 MST, 54°F. Just prior to opening the observatory I took this photo of the western sky, with the observatory in the foreground:


At 1820 MST, viewed Jupiter, 77X. Three moons were visible. Seeing was not very good. I did my second Twitter Vine video (the first one was on the previous session), this time I recorded Jupiter with the 8" LX200-ACF and iPhone 4, afocal 444X + moon filter:


Click image to view video

The Jovian moon Europa is visible to the left of Jupiter. The video isn't very stable as the Vine software requires that the iPhone screen be touched while doing the video recording. I've provided feedback to the Vine developers about that.

At 1838 MST, clouds were now higher in the sky. I viewed Jupiter, 364X. The cloud bands were nicely visible but no details could be seen due to poor seeing. Clouds in our atmosphere arrived at Jupiter at 1843 MST.

At 1900 MST, slewed to IC10, a faint galaxy in Cassiopeia. Clouds were not a factor and I began waiting for the sky to get darker. At 1907 MST, I picked up the faint galaxy at 77X using averted vision. I then slewed to NGC896, a diffuse nebula. Some nebulosity was faintly visible at 77X. I began setting up for prime focus + focal reducer + Off-Axis Guider imaging using the D7000 DSLR. At 1932 MST, I did a focus test on the star Shedir using the Bahtinov Mask.

After doing a framing test image (1 minute, ISO 6400), I captured this image of IC10 galaxy, 5 minutes, guided, ISO 6400, slightly cropped:


The image was desaturated to best show the faint galaxy.

I then slewed to NGC896 and located a faint guide star. Framing was not ideal but I decided to try it anyway. This is the resulting image, 5 minutes, guided, ISO 6400, slightly cropped:


I will do another image with better framing on the next session.

I ended imaging at 2004 MST, unmounted the camera, and slewed the telescope to the star Sirius. Clouds were still in the southern sky but not near Sirius. Although conditions were not ideal, I wanted to make an attempt to see Sirius B, Magnitude +8.4. I had previously tried to view the "Pup" (as it is known) on 16 October 2009 and again on 21 January 2011, without success on both occasions. This image from Wikipedia shows the orbit of Sirius B:


Using the techniques described by Dr. Clay Sherrod in his Sirius B article on my ETX Site, I spent about 30 minutes trying to view Sirius B using various magnifications. At times I thought I could see the Pup, but the seeing conditions were such that I was never completely confident that I did see it. I will try again when conditions are better.

The observatory was closed at 2056 MST, 39°F.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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