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DSLR Imaging: NGC2403 Galaxy (re-edit), Uranus Moons

Posted: 26 November 2016

Friday, 25 November 2016, dawned cloudy and windy.

I did some more processing of the NGC2403 (galaxy), prime focus + focal reducer, 2 minutes, ISO 800, White Balance 4000K, images taken on the previous session. I was able to slightly improve the stacked image, effective exposure 14 minutes, this time using Lynkeos:


The sky began clearing mid-afternoon.

Open: Friday, 25 November 2016, 1819 MST
Temperature: 66°F
Session: 1049
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wired AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece

D7200 DSLR

1825 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1827 MST: viewed Venus, 102X. Slewed to the star Altair and SYNCed the AutoStar alignment. Then viewed Mars, 102X.

Next, viewed Uranus. Began preparing to image some moons of Uranus. Temporarily SYNCed the AutoStar on the planet. Slewed to the star Capella, mounted the D7200 DSLR at prime focus, focused/locked, then slewed back to Uranus. Did a quick test exposure; the focus had changed. Apparently I didn't get the mirror lock bolt tight enough. I then focused without a mask by viewing the planet on the DSLR Live View screen. I took several photos, each time trying to improve the focus. This is a (cropped) 3 seconds, ISO 5000, exposure showing five moons of the planet Uranus:

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The planet is overexposed in this long exposure in order to capture the fainter moons.

1909 MST: removed the camera from the 12" telescope. SYNCed the AutoStar alignment on the star Aldebaran. GC Wi-Fi Adapter ON. Used SkySafari 5 Pro on the iPhone 6s Plus to GOTO the eclipsing binary star RW Tauri. After my unsuccessful attempt to ID the star using 102X on the previous session, this night I used a 2" 50mm eyepiece (49X) to compare the field-of-view to the star chart from the January 2017 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. 1930 MST: positively IDed the star RW Tauri. I had actually seen it on the previous session although I was not completely certain I had. With the star now identified I would be ready to observe the eclipse on 14 December, which is the next well-timed opportunity for me.

1935 MST: Wi-Fi OFF. Slewed to NGC2403 (galaxy) and viewed it at 49X. It was too low in the northeastern sky to re-image it. The breezes were now getting stronger. It was getting obvious that I would be ending the session soon as the wind was picking up.

1953 MST: viewed M45 (the Pleiades), 49X. Pretty sight. Then began closing up due to the wind.

Close: Friday, 25 November 2016, 2009 MST
Temperature: 58°F
Session Length: 1h 50m
Conditions: Mostly clear, windy

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