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Jupiter, NGC2336 Galaxy, M82 Galaxy Supernova SN2014j

Posted: 22 February 2014

Saturday as sunset approached, the IR satellite image showed clouds moving eastward, with clearing to the north. Both Clear Sky Chart and Scope Nights (iOS app) forecast clear skies for the night. I decided to give it a try. On the way to the observatory, took this photo of sunset and the observatory:


Opened: Friday, 21 February 2014, 1820 MST
Temperature: 70°F
Session: 657
Conditions: Clouds in southern half of sky

1828 MST: viewed Jupiter in a clear spot, 83X and 222X. Four moons were visible and the Great Red Spot was at the central meridian. Began setting up for Jupiter eyepiece projection imaging with the D7000 DSLR and 8" LX200-ACF. This is a stack of 270 frames from a HD video recording, 1/60sec, ISO 2500:


This is a cropped single photograph taken at ISO 400 using the "Hat Trick Method":


This photo taken with the iPhone 5s shows Jupiter as seen on the D7000 "Live View" screen, zoomed in:


The Great Red Spot is easily seen in all three images.

1905 MST: clouds still in the southern half of the sky, but the northern sky was clear. 1914 MST: took a last look at Jupiter, 222X and 83X.

Added the focal reducer and slewed to IC443 (faint, large, diffuse nebula). It was faintly visible in the 24mm UWA eyepiece + focal reducer 15 minutes before the end of astronomical twilight. A little later viewed the Flame Nebula and made an attempt to view the Horsehead Nebula, but didn't see it this night. At 1921 MST, the neighbor to the north turned on his horizontally aimed bright floodlights. Fortunately, they were only on for 10 minutes.

I did some further tests of the accessories that were received back in January. I hope to have the review online soon.

1956 MST: ended the tests and did another Dark Sky Meter Pro (iOS app) reading at the observatory:


Not too bad!

2013 MST: slewed to NGC4236 (large faint galaxy). It was easily seen with the 24mm UWA eyepiece + focal reducer. Then viewed M82 galaxy; supernova SN2014j was still visible but it is dimmer now than on previous viewings.

2022 MST: began preparing to image NGC2336 galaxy at prime focus. Removed the focal reducer and mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF. After doing a focus test on the star Regulus with the Bahtinov Mask, did a 3 minute, unguided, ISO 6400 exposure of NGC2336. Unfortunately, it trailed. Then did a 2 minute 30 second, unguided exposure of NGC2336; no trailing. Did 11 more 2 minute 30 second, ISO 6400 exposures. This is a stack of the 12 images for an effective exposure time of 30 minutes:


Slewed to M82 and did two 2 minute 30 second, ISO 6400, unguided exposures, to photograph the supernova. This is a stack of the two images (effective exposure time of 5 minutes):

Mouseover or tap to see the supernova arrowed

2126 MST: completed DSO imaging. Clouds were still in the southern sky. Decided to end the session.

Closed: Friday, 21 February 2014, 2150 MST
Temperature: 54°F

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