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Ice Spike;
IC342 Galaxy, IC410 Nebula

Posted: 30 December 2018

Saturday, 29 December 2018, dawned very cold (25.7°F). Had a very rare "ice spike" in one of our bird baths:


Open: Saturday, 29 December 2018, 1842 MST
Temperature: 34°F
Session: 1320
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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


1847 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision ON.

Viewed IC342 (galaxy) and then IC410 (faint nebula), 102X.

I then set up to image both of these Deep Sky Objects (DSOs). Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + Optec focal reducer, focused on the star Capella using an Astrozap Bahtinov Mask, locked the ScopeStuff 12" Primary Mirror Lock, and SYNCed the AutoStar on Capella.

1908 MST: StarLock ON.

Seeing conditions were erratic, which resulted in some autoguiding difficulties. I did manage to get images of IC342 and IC410, StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance 4000K:

IC342 (galaxy)

IC410 (nebula)

1939 MST: StarLock OFF.

Removed the camera and viewed M42 (the Great Nebula in Orion), 102X.

1947 MST: High Precision OFF.

Several of our holiday party guests came out to the observatory and viewed M42 (the Great Nebula in Orion) through the 12" telescope at 102X. I also pointed out some sights that were visible in our dark sky, in particular the Winter Milky Way.

2019 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 29 December 2018, 2025 MST
Temperature: 35°F
Session Length: 1h 43m
Conditions: Clear

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