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DSLR & SkyTracker Pro: M45 Pleiades

Posted: 8 December 2017

The sky was clear on Thursday, 7 December 2017, but I did not open the observatory that night due to strong winds. The winds calmed down on Friday, 8 December.

Open: Friday, 8 December 2017, 1818 MST
Temperature: 56°F
Session: 1174
Conditions: Mostly clear

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

D7200 DSLR

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

1827 MST: viewed the planets Neptune and Uranus, 102X. Both disks visible.

Set up the D7200 DSLR with 70-300mm lens on the SkyTracker Pro on the observatory patio for imaging M45 (the Pleiades):


Polar aligned the SkyTracker Pro.

Focused on the star Capella using zoomed-in Live View at a focal length of 300mm. Aimed the camera at the Pleiades and powered on the SkyTracker Pro for tracking.

This is M45 (Pleiades; cropped), f/5.6, 1 minute, ISO 5000, White Balance 3570K, FL 300mm:


1926 MST: ended imaging.

Returned to the 12" telescope and did some mirror lock tests. During the tests I viewed the following at 102X: M45 (Pleiades), M1 (Crab Nebula), M36 and M35 (open star clusters), and M57 (Ring Nebula).

After completing the tests I viewed the Double Cluster, 102X.

SYNCed the AutoStar II on the star Shedir in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Did a tour of Deep Sky Objects in Cassiopeia, 102X: NGC129 (open cluster), NGC147 (galaxy), NGC185 (galaxy), NGC225 (open cluster), NGC457 (open cluster), NGC559 (open cluster), M103 (open cluster), NGC654 (open cluster), NGC659 (open cluster), NGC663 (open cluster), M52 (open cluster), and NGC7789 (open cluster).

2017 MST: ended the tour. SYNCed the AutoStar on the star Aldebaran in preparation for DSO imaging on a future session.

2025 MST: was getting breezy.

2030 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 8 December 2017, 2040 MST
Temperature: 48°F
Session Length: 2h 22m
Conditions: Clear

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