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Imaging: Earthshine, Einstein Cross, M13, M27, M57, Cresent Nebula

Posted: 5 October 2016

Saw this little guy on Tuesday, 4 October 2016. Was about 1" long.


Open: Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 1848 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session: 1018
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece

D7200 DSLR

1854 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1856 MST: viewed the crescent Moon, 102X. Earthshine was nice. Began setting up to image the Moon at prime focus of the 12" telescope using the D7200 DSLR. Added the focal reducer in order to get the entire lunar disk in the camera field-of-view.

The Moon, 1/320sec, ISO 400, with saturation turned up in post-processing to bring up some color:


And Earthshine, 1 second, ISO 400:


1913 MST: completed lunar imaging. Did some brief lunar observing, 102X, but the Moon was too low in the sky for good viewing.

1923 MST: viewed Saturn, 102X, but the seeing was lousy. The Ring was hardly separate from the planet's disk. Only the moons Titan and Rhea were visible.

Then viewed Mars, 102X, but seeing was also lousy at the planet.

1932 MST: viewed M13 (Great Globular Cluster in Hercules), 102X. Pretty view. Decided to image it. Mounted the DSLR at prime focus. High Precision on StarLock autoguiding ON. This is a 2 minute, ISO 1600, White Balance 4000K image of M13:


I then slewed to the location of the "Einstein Cross" (22h 40m 30s, +03° 21' 31", Mag +16.78, <2 arcsec diameter). With the poor seeing this night I did not expect to be able to image the "cross" (and I didn't). But the Einstein Cross object (arrowed) is faintly visible in this 5 minute, ISO 6400, WB 4000K image:


I had imaged the "cross" with the 8" telescope so I know it should be doable with the 12" telescope. Just need a night with excellent seeing.

Then imaged M27 (Dumbbell Nebula), prime focus, 3 minutes, ISO 5000, WB 4000K:


And M57 (Ring Nebula), prime focus, 1 minute, ISO 3200, WB 4000K:


2123 MST: added the focal reducer to capture this image of NGC6888 (Crescent Nebula), 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 4000K:


2139 MST: completed Deep Sky Object (DSO) imaging. StarLock and High Precision OFF. The poor seeing this night made StarLock autoguiding problematic but I was still pleased at the images I was able to get.

2147 MST: viewed the colorful double star Albireo, 102X. Very pretty.

Close: Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 2200 MST
Temperature: 60°F
Session Length: 3h 12m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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