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Extragalactic Supernova Project imaging

Posted: 5 October 2018

Clouds from the outer bands of the approaching Pacific Hurricane Rosa were fully in place on Sunday, 30 September 2018. Monday, 1 October, Rosa was a tropical storm as in moved into western Arizona with more clouds and rain (0.24"). Clouds continued on Tuesday, 2 October, with rain at night (0.11"). Wednesday, 3 October, was partly cloudy. The sky dawned clear on Thursday, 4 October, although some clouds began appearing mid-morning. The sky was clear again by late afternoon.

Open: Thursday, 4 October 2018, 1807 MST
Temperature: 88°F
Session: 1286
Conditions: Clear

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


First, I set up a live trap in the hopes of capturing a packrat that has been visiting the observatory.

Then SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV.

1817 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1823 MST: viewed Venus, low in the sky, 102X. A nice crescent phase was visible.

Next, I did some work with my new Orion 9x50 finderscope for my upcoming review.

SYNCed on the star Altair.

Viewed Jupiter, low in the southwest, 102X. Four moons were visible. Then viewed Saturn, 102X. Two moons were visible against the still bright sky. Viewed Mars, 102X. The South Polar Cap and a dark surface area were visible.

Took this handheld D850 DSLR photo (f/11, 1/10sec, ISO 3200, 70mm) of the southwestern sky showing Venus near the bottom and Jupiter near the top:

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1849 MST: began preparing the D850 DSLR for imaging for my Extragalactic Supernova Project. 1857 MST: High Precision ON. Slewed to NGC7479, which would be my first imaging target of the night. It was faintly visible at Mag. +11.6 at 102X 30 minutes before the end of Astronomical Twilight (1927 MST). 1915 MST: NGC7479 now easily seen, 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope, focused, and locked the mirror using the ScopeStuff Mirror Lock. 1927 MST: StarLock ON.

Seeing was pretty bad this session. Several images had to be aborted due to the StarLock losing its guide star. I was able to get these three images, StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K:




While waiting for one galaxy to rise higher I used my 12x50 binoculars to view M33 (Triangulum Galaxy), M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and its companion galaxies M32 and M110, the Double Cluster, and M11 (Wild Duck Cluster).

2050 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Ended imaging due to the poor seeing.

2102 MST: viewed NGC7606 (galaxy) and then M33 (Triangulum Galaxy), 102X.

2106 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 4 October 2018, 2115 MST
Temperature: 66°F
Session Length: 3h 08m
Conditions: Clear

I have posted my review of the Meade Smartphone Adapter. Meade has also posted a shorten version of my review on their web site.

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