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D850 DSLR Astrophotography Galaxies

Posted: 6 May 2018

Open: Saturday, 5 May 2018, 1830 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1225
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece


1837 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X. Nice gibbous phase visible.

1859 MST: spotted Venus naked eye. Then viewed Venus using 12x50 binoculars.

1912 MST: sunset.

Viewed Venus 102X and 203X.

1927 MST: began getting breezy. Prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

1941 MST: viewed the double stars Castor, Mizar, and Polaris, 102X.

2000 MST: slewed to M98 (galaxy), which would be the first Deep Sky Object (DSO) imaging target of the night. The galaxy was faintly visible against the still bright sky, 102X. SYNCed on M98.

2013 MST: viewed the galaxies M98, M99, M100, and NGC4038/NGC4039 (Antennae Galaxies), 102X. All were nice views.

2023 MST: dome OFF.

Jupiter was now visible over the hill to the east. Viewed the Leo Triplet of Galaxies (M65, M66, and NGC3628 Sarah's Galaxy), 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Focused on the star Arcturus.

2037 MST: StarLock ON. Seeing was not very good this night. However, I did take the following StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes exposure, ISO 5000, White Balance 4000K, images of several galaxies:




NGC4038 and NGC4039 (Antennae Galaxies)

M83 (Southern Pinwheel Galaxy)

The M100 image shows the effect of the poor seeing, resulting in autoguiding errors, with stars that look like Saturn. I will re-do the image on a future session.

2134 MST: StarLock OFF. Ended DSO imaging.

Added the 2X PowerMate. Slewed to Jupiter and did some video recordings of Jupiter. Unfortunately the images were underexposed. I will re-do the Jupiter imaging on a future session.

2152 MST: ended imaging. The replacement Vello ShutterBoss III worked OK.

Removed the DSLR and viewed Jupiter, its Great Red Spot, and the four Galilean Moons, 102X and 203X.

2205 MST: dome ON.

Viewed M13 (Great Globular Cluster in Hercules) and M92 (globular cluster), 102X. Then viewed Omega Centauri (globular cluster) and Centaurus A (galaxy), 102X.

Viewed Omega Centauri (globular cluster) using the 12x50 binoculars. Pretty sight.

2223 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 5 May 2018, 2230 MST
Temperature: 73°F
Session Length: 4h 00m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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