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D7200 DSLR Astrophotography: Crescent Moon, M77 Galaxy

Posted: 23 November 2017

The sky was cloudy on Monday and Tuesday, 20-21 November 2017.

Open: Wednesday, 22 November 2017, 1808 MST
Temperature: 75°F
Session: 1168
Conditions: Clear

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

D7200 DSLR

1815 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the crescent Moon, 102X.

Then began setting up for imaging. Mounted the D7200 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer.

Moon, 1/250sec, ISO 400, White Balance Auto

Earthshine and some stars, 1 second, ISO 400, White Balance Auto

1833 MST: did some mirror lock tests.

1857 MST: slewed to M77 (galaxy). I wanted to re-image this galaxy as my previous image (January 2017) had some slight trailing. Began waiting for M77 to rise higher in the sky. Once it did I slewed to the star Algol, focused using a Bahtinov Mask, and locked the mirror. Slewed back to M77. The galaxy was visible in the camera viewfinder.

1942 MST: StarLock ON. Seeing at times was poor, which made autoguiding difficult. But eventually seeing improved. This is a StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance 3570K, image of M77, showing its outer spiral arms:


2003 MST: StarLock OFF. Ended imaging. Removed camera from 12" telescope.

Viewed M77, 102X. Then viewed the star Mira, 102X.

Next, did a tour of some Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) in the constellation of Cetus, 102X: NGC246 (planetary nebula), NGC247 (galaxy), and Caldwell 51 (galaxy). SYNCed on NGC247. I will image NGC247 on a future session. I had previously imaged it with the 8" LX200-ACF and D7000 (October 2012).

2032 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 22 November 2017, 2040 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 2h 32m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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