Ceres; Quasar 3C273; M100 Galaxy;
Omega Centauri, M13, M92 Globular Clusters; Jupiter
Posted: 9 May 2018
Sunday, 6 May 2018, dawned clear but clouds began showing up in the western sky mid-morning, with a forecast of cloudy skies for the night. Monday, 7 May, was partly cloudy. Tuesday, 8 May, dawned clear with a clear sky forecast for the night.
Open: Tuesday, 8 May 2018, 1833 MST
Conditions: Mostly clear
1840 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed Venus, 102X. Gibbous phase nicely visible. 1857 MST: Venus naked eye visible (with difficulty).
Decided to relax on the observatory patio bench for awhile. 1914 MST: sunset. Continued relaxing on the bench waiting for the stars to come out and listening to music from the original Cosmos TV show.
1945 MST: back in the observatory. Viewed Venus, 102X.
Began preparing the D850 DSLR for the night's prime focus imaging.
1953 MST: Wi-Fi ON. SYNCed on the star Regulus. Used SkySafari 6 Pro to GOTO Dwarf Planet (asteroid) Ceres. Viewed Ceres, 102X. Then began waiting for the sky to get darker.
2021 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Focused on the star Regulus using a Bahtinov Mask.
2026 MST: the Zodiacal Light was brightly visible in the western sky. It was neat seeing it so late in the Spring.
2031 MST: Wi-Fi OFF, StarLock ON.
Did three images of Ceres at 15 minute intervals, StarLock autoguided, 10 seconds, ISO 3200, White Balance 4000K, to show its motion over a 30 minute period:
Slewed to the star Spica and SYNCed. Then slewed to Quasar 3C273 (last imaged in April 2013 using a D7000 DSLR on a 8" LX200-ACF).
2112 MST: dome OFF.
This is Quasar 3C273, StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 4000K:
Slewed to M100 (galaxy) to retake its image (for better tracking). StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 4000K:
Next, slewed to Centaurus A (galaxy), very low in the southern sky. I took this StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 4000K:
As the image is slightly out-of-focus I will redo it on a future session.
I tweaked the focus and then did some images of globular clusters. These StarLock autoguided images are full-frame and at the same scale to show the apparent size difference. 2221 MST: dome ON.
Omega Centauri (30 seconds, ISO 2500, WB 4000K)
M13 (30 seconds, ISO 1600, WB 4000K)
M92 (30 seconds, ISO 1600, WB 4000K)
2236 MST: StarLock OFF.
Added the 2X PowerMate and did some video recordings of Jupiter (at opposition this night), 2160p 30 fps. This is a stack of 500 frames, 1/60sec, ISO 8000, White Balance Auto:
2256 MST: ended imaging.
Viewed Jupiter, 203X and 102X. The four Galilean Moons were visible.
2307 MST: viewed M4 (globular cluster) and then M57 (Ring Nebula), 102X.
2310 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Tuesday, 8 May 2018, 2318 MST
Session Length: 4h 45m|
I had several random triggers of the replacement Vello ShutterBoss III Wireless Remote this session. I will be reporting it to Vello.
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