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Hyades and the Crab, Orion

Posted: 4 November 2013

Clouds returned on Sunday, 3 November 2013, but the sky cleared up by the time Sunday Night Football was over. The observatory was opened at 2206 MST, 58°F. At 2213 MST, viewed M1 (Crab Nebula), 83X. At 2225 MST, observed the Crab Nebula using 7x50 binoculars. It was a difficult object due to its small size. I then began preparing for piggyback imaging. The D7000 DSLR was mounted on the 8" LX200-ACF tube.

Stars were clearly visible in the D7000 viewfinder, making framing and focusing easy. I then did exposures at various shutter speeds and ISO settings. This is a slightly cropped, guided, f/5, 5 minute, ISO 1600, 50mm focal length, photograph showing M1 in the lower left corner and the Hyades open star cluster at the right:


Mouseover the image or tap on the image (if using a touchscreen) to see labels and a magnified inset of the Crab Nebula.

Slewed the telescope to Orion at 2344 MST and began waiting for it to rise a little higher in the sky. I then did several images at various exposure settings. This is a full-frame, guided, f/4.2, 5 minute, ISO 1600, 34mm focal length, photo of the constellation of Orion:


Mouseover or tap on the image to see labels showing where the Flame Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula, and M42 (Great Nebula in Orion) are located.

I completed imaging at 0033 MST.

At 0040 MST, viewed Jupiter, 364X. The view was great, with lots of cloud details being seen. Two moons were visible: Callisto and Ganymede. The moon Io was in transit but was not seen at 364X or 727X. At 0048 MST, I picked up Io as a bright star-like object in front of Jupiter using 206X. Io was not visible at 83X.

The observatory was closed at 0102 MST, 56°F.

The next two weeks are going to be busy times. Later this week is the "Last A-7D Pilot Reunion", being held in Tucson. As a former A-7D jet fighter pilot, I'll be attending this special reunion. The following week a niece comes for a visit. While she is here the 2nd Annual "Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo" will be held, also in Tucson. I will be working the OPT booth at the Expo. If you will be at the Expo, stop by the OPT booth and say "hi".

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

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