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More Messier Object Imaging, Bubble Nebula

Posted: 31 August 2014

Opening the observatory on Saturday, 30 August, was delayed so that I could represent the Oracle Dark Skies Committee at a star party at Triangle Y Ranch. The Ranch had set up an 8" Dobsonian. I set up my Celestron Cometron 12x70 binoculars on a photographic tripod and showed the Ranch guests M31 (Andromeda Galaxy). I also talked about the night sky and Artifical Light at Night (ALAN), and gave a demonstration of light pollution.

Opened: Saturday, 30 August 2014, 2152 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session: 713
Conditions: Clear

2158 MST: slewed to the open cluster M24 as my first target of the night. I needed to redo the previous night's image at a wider field-of-view. Added the focal reducer and mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF using the TPO 2" adapter. Did a focus test image on the star Altair using the Bahtinov Mask. Then, as with all the objects this night, did many unguided exposures at various exposure lengths and ISO settings using the focal reducer. The following are the Messier objects I imaged this night, with the exposure:

M24 (open cluster), 2 minutes, ISO 2500

M73 (open cluster), 1 minute, ISO 3200, cropped

M29 (open cluster), 1 minute, ISO 3200, cropped

M39 (open cluster), 1 minute, ISO 1600

M27 (Dumbbell Nebula), 2 minutes, ISO 3200, cropped

M52 (open cluster), 1 minute, ISO 1600, cropped

M32 (galaxy), 3 minutes, ISO 3200, cropped

M110 (galaxy), 2 minutes, ISO 3200, cropped

0050 MST: ended Messier object imaging. I decided to image NGC7635 (Bubble Nebula) in Cassiopeia. I had imaged it in October 2010 but wanted to see if I could improve on that image. This is a cropped, 3 minute, ISO 6400 image:


Definitely needs longer and therefore, guided exposing. Will do that on a future session, but it might have to wait as the moon is getting brighter now.

0010 MST: ended imaging. Began closing up.

Closed: Sunday, 31 August 2014, 0132 MST
Temperature: 75°F

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