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Extragalactic Supernova Project:
M74 and NGC672

Posted: 6 November 2018

Saturday, 3 November 2018, was partly cloudy. So was Sunday, 4 November. The sky cleared on Monday, 5 November.

Open: Monday, 5 November 2018, 1808 MST
Temperature: 75°F
Session: 1298
Conditions: Clear

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


SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV. There had been some brief power outages in Oracle over the weekend and the clock's backup battery had died.

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

Viewed Saturn and four moons, then Mars, 102X.

1823 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to NGC628 (M74; galaxy), but it was not yet visible about 30 minutes before end of Astronomical Twilight. Prepared the D850 DSLR for imaging for my Extragalactic Supernova Project.

While waiting for the sky to get darker and for NGC628 to rise higher in the sky I used the Vortex 12x50 binoculars to view some sights: the Double Cluster (open star clusters), M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and its satellite galaxies M110 and M32, and M33 (Triangulum Galaxy).

1910 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope, focused using the Astrozap Bahtinov Mask, and locked the 12" primary mirror using the ScopeStuff mirror lock. Slewed to NGC628 (M74).

1920 MST: StarLock ON.

Did some StarLock autoguided framing test images of NGC628 using 1 minute exposures, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K. I tried doing StarLock autoguided 5 minute exposures of NGC628 but bad seeing did not allow accurate autoguiding for that long. I tried again once NGC628 was higher in the sky but still could not do 5 minute exposures. Normally for good autoguiding the StarLock needs to show guide correction values =<2.0, but I was seeing values of 12.0.

Went to NGC672 (galaxy) and was able to get a StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 5000K image of it.

I returned to NGC628 (M74) and tried again to get long exposures, but without success. Gave up imaging for this night.

2037 MST: StarLock OFF.

Here are the two images I managed to get this night:

NGC628 (M74) (1 minute, ISO 6400)

NGC672 (5 minutes, ISO 6400)

Below and right of NGC672 is the galaxy IC1127. In the original image there were several other very faint galaxies visible.

2047 MST: viewed M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), 102X. A nice dust lane was visible.

2051 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Monday, 5 November 2018, 2102 MST
Temperature: 57°F
Session Length: 2h 54m
Conditions: Clear

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