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Next to Last 8" Telescope Session;
Faint DSO Observing

Posted: 6 February 2016

Friday, 5 February 2016, was mostly clear but windy during the day. I finalized my observatory upgrade "shopping list" for next Tuesday's visit to OPT in California.

Open: Friday, 5 February 2016, 1807 MST
Temperature: 58°F
Session: 917
Conditions: Mostly clear

The sun had already set at Cassiopeia Observatory when I took this fisheye lens photo of the observatory. It shows me with my Meade 8" LX200-ACF on what should be my next to last session with the 8" telescope.

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While waiting for Astronomical Twilight to end I removed several 8" LX200-ACF accessories from the observatory that I would not need on my next session so that I could prepare them for packing. These accessories either came with the telescope or were obtained for use with the 8" telescope and will not work with the 12" LX600.

1905 MST: the Zodiacal Light was now visible, 20 minutes before the end of Astronomical Twilight. This photo of Cassiopeia Observatory with the 8" telescope was taken at 1947 MST, D7200 DSLR, f/5, 30 seconds, ISO 4000, 8mm fisheye lens:

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Click this thumbnail image to see a larger (unlabeled) version:

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1949 MST: finished sky imaging.

I then spent the next hour using Observer Pro on my iPhone 6s Plus to select some faint Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) for observing with the 8" telescope at 83X. I observed the following: NGC1535 (planetary nebula), NGC1532 (galaxy), M79 (globular cluster), NGC1808 (galaxy), NGC1851 (globular cluster), NGC2261 (nebula), M78 (nebula), NGC2146 (galaxy), NGC2207 (galaxy), NGC2217 (galaxy), NGC2371 (planetary nebula), NGC2419 (globular cluster), NGC2403 (galaxy), NGC2346 (planetary nebula), NGC2292 and NGC2293 (galaxies in same field-of-view), NGC2280 (galaxy), NGC2298 (globular cluster), and finally NGC2537 (Bear Claw Galaxy). Most of these DSOs were 10th or 11th Magnitude, but were easily seen with the 8" telescope from my dark sky site.

2056 MST: viewed the star Canopus, 83X, just above Mt Lemmon to the south of Cassiopeia Observatory. Canopus is the second brightest star in the night sky after Sirius and its elevation above the southern horizon this night was 4° 06'.

Then viewed the double star Mizar (in the Big Dipper), 83X, low in the northeastern sky.

2123 MST: watched Jupiter rise over the hill to the east, 83X. It was too low for good viewing but three of the Galilean Moons were visible.

I then ended this session. I have one more session planned before removing the 8" telescope from the observatory.

Close: Friday, 5 February 2016, 2134 MST
Temperature: 45°F
Session Length: 3h 27m
Conditions: Clear

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