D850 DSLR Astrophotography Whirlpool Galaxy;
Posted: 15 May 2018
Monday, 14 May 2018, dawned mostly clear with a clear sky forecast for the night. Wind returned mid-day.
Open: Monday, 14 May 2018, 1908 MST
Conditions: Clear, breezy
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
iPhone 8 Plus
1915 MST: Venus visible high in the western sky.
1918 MST: sunset.
1919 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed Venus, 102X.
I then prepared the Nikon D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.
1940 MST: SYNCed the AutoStar on the star Arcturus.
1950 MST: slewed to M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy). It was not yet visible against the bright twilight sky. Astronomical Twilight would not end until 2049 MST.
2003 MST: M51 faintly visible, 102X. 2028 MST: M51 spiral structure was visible. The breezes had calmed down now. 2035 MST: M51 spiral arms easily seen, 102X.
2039 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus and focused on the star Arcturus using a Bahtinov Mask. Slewed back to M51.
2045 MST: StarLock ON.Took these StarLock autoguided 1 minute and 5 minutes exposures, ISO 5000, White Balance 4000K:
Even the 1 minute exposure captured lots of details.
2102 MST: StarLock OFF.
Slewed to the star Spica and SYNCed the AutoStar. Then slewed to the galaxy Centaurus A, low in the southern sky. I was not going to image the galaxy this session as I needed to cut the session short due to a long day of activities planned for Tuesday, but I wanted to check its location above the horizon. I plan to image it on the next session.
Removed the camera. Viewed Centaurus A (galaxy), 102X.
Then viewed Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons, 102X.
2118 MST: LX600 OFF.
As I was closing up I noticed that there was this visitor over my head on the observatory dome:
He was about the size of a half-dollar coin.
Close: Monday, 14 May 2018, 2131 MST
Session Length: 2h 23m|
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