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NGC7662 Blue Snowball Nebula Imaging, DSO Observing

Posted: 24 September 2014

Opened: Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 2011 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session: 721
Conditions: Clear

2019 MST: Slewed to NGC7662 (Blue Snowball, planetary nebula), my imaging target for the night. At 83X, it appeared a bright blue with some structure visible. I had previously imaged it at prime focus + 2X Barlow Lens on 7 November 2010 using a high ISO (30 seconds, ISO 12800). This night I would image it at prime focus, 30 seconds, ISO 800, using multiple exposures for stacking.

Mounted the D7000 DSLR at the 8" LX200-ACF prime focus using the TPO 2" adapter. Did a focus test on the star Alpha Andromeda using the Bahtinov Mask. 2034 MST: took the first of 60 30 second, ISO 800, unguided exposures. This is the full frame version of one of the exposures:


2117 MST: finished imaging NGC7662 (Blue Snowball). This is a stack of the 60 images (effective exposure 30 minutes) using Lynkeos, with final editing and cropping using GraphicConverter:


2136 MST: began Deep Sky Object (DSO) observing, 83X. For some DSOs I used the Constellation: Deep Sky Objects listed in the AutoStar. For others I used the "Trained Sky" star atlas to locate DSOs in the constellations. First was NGC7314 (galaxy) in Pisces Austrinus. Then in Aquarius was NGC7513 (galaxy), NGC7727 (galaxy), NGC7723 (galaxy), and NGC7606 (galaxy). Then viewed NGC253 (Sculptor Galaxy), low in the southeast but still a nice view. Next were some DSOs in Perseus: M76 (Little Dumbbell; planetary nebula), the Double Cluster (NGC869 (open cluster) and NGC884 (open cluster)), M34 (open cluster), NGC1245 (open cluster), NGC1275 (galaxy), NGC1342 (open cluster), IC348 (nebula), NGC1499 (California Nebula), and NGC1528 (open cluster). Then viewed M45 (Pleiades), still low in the east. Finally, M33 (Triangulum Galaxy), high in the sky. Spiral arms clearly visible at 83X.

2235 MST: switched to the Celestron 12x70 binoculars and viewed M110, M32, and M31 galaxies in Andromeda, then M33 galaxy in Triangulum. All were good views. Using the naked eye, M31 was an easy sight. M33 was more challenging but it was visible to the naked eye as a "faint smudge".

2255 MST: did a DSO tour in the constellation of Cetus: NGC246 (planetary nebula), NGC247 (galaxy), Caldwell 51 (galaxy), and M77 (galaxy).

2330 MST: took a sky quality measurement using the Unihedron SQM-L light meter. It was 21.14.

Closed: Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 2343 MST
Temperature: 74°F

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