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Galaxy Imaging

Posted: 29 April 2019

After being clear all day on Saturday, 27 April 2019, with a forecast for a clear sky that night, clouds showed up about 2 hours before sunset. Sunday, 28 April, was mostly clear.

Open: Sunday, 28 April 2019, 1834 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1348
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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


1841 MST: Dome OFF.

Planned to image five galaxies this night for my Extragalactic Supernova Project.

Relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for sunset and the sky to darken. This was the view of my observatory from the bench:


1904 MST: sunset (time approximate due to clouds in the western sky).

1930 MST: back inside the observatory. The breezes had calmed down. Prepared the D850 DSLR for imaging.

1936 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Slewed to the star Regulus and SYNCed the AutoStar.

1940 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to the galaxy NGC3338, which would be my first imaging target for the night. The Magnitude +11.3 galaxy was not yet visible in the eyepiece due to the still bright sky.

1951 MST: some clouds were getting higher in the sky from the southwest.

2000 MST: NGC3338 (galaxy) was becoming visible, 102X.

2006 MST: slewed back to Regulus, mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus, focused on the star, and locked the 12" primary mirror.

2013 MST: clouds were blocking the view of NGC3338, so waited awhile for them to move out of the way.

2021 MST: StarLock ON.

Took this StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes exposure, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K, image of NGC3338:


Slewed to NGC3344 (galaxy) and began imaging it. Seeing was rapidly deteriorating, probably due to the thin clouds. I was able to only get this single StarLock autoguided, 1 minute exposure, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K, image of NGC3344:


2056 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

The breezes returned. Due to the poor seeing gave up on imaging. Viewed NGC3344 (galaxy), 102X.

2104 MST: LX600 OFF.

2111 MST: Dome ON.

Close: Sunday, 28 April 2019, 2119 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session Length: 2h 45m
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

I have posted my review of the Avangard Optics 1x26 Night Vision Monocular. Since originally posting the review I discovered that the support and warranty email addresses shown in the documentation are not valid. Perhaps the company has gone defunct. Based on the price for the product, the uselessness of the headband, and the apparent lack of company support, I decided to return the night scope to B&H. I have posted an updated version of my product review containing this new information and will leave it available online so that others do not have the same experience as I did.

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