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Critter, Quasar CTA 102, IC342 Galaxy, M34 & M35 Open Clusters

Posted: 26 January 2017

Cloudy skies returned on Monday, 23 January. Our 3rd storm of the series provided another 0.36" rain Monday night thru Tuesday morning, 24 January. The sky had scattered clouds on Wednesday, 25 January.

Open: Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 1812 MST
Temperature: 57°F
Session: 1062
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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

D7200 DSLR

On my way to the observatory I saw this Great Horned Owl on the house roof:


1817 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X.

Then began preparing for astrophotography. 1828 MST: slewed the 12" telescope to the star KAP PEG, which would be the focus test star. SYNCed the AutoStar on the star. Mounted the D7200 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer. 1900 MST: focus test. Then slewed to the star HD212989.

1905 MST: Zodiacal Light was now visible.

1906 MST: StarLock ON. Imaged the HD212989 star field and then slewed to Quasar CTA 102 using the Right Ascension and Declination in the Sky & Telescope article Quasar CTA 102: Historically Bright, Violently Variable. This is a slightly cropped 1 minute, ISO 2500, White Balance 4000K, StarLock autoguided, image showing Quasar CTA 102:

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image for labels

Next, slewed to IC342 (galaxy) and took this 5 minute, ISO 6400, WB 4000K, StarLocked guided image (slightly cropped):


The final two Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) imaged this night were for my Messier Astrophotography Album update, 1 minute, ISO 800, White Balance 4000K, StarLock autoguided:

M34 Open Cluster

M35 Open Cluster

2006 MST: StarLock OFF. Ended imaging.

2020 MST: viewed the Eskimo Nebula (NGC2392), 102X. Nice sight. It seemed to be an appropriate last object viewed this session as the temperature was down to 37°F.

2024 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 2031 MST
Temperature: 37°F
Session Length: 2h 19m
Conditions: Clear

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