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Galaxies on Poor Seeing Night

Posted: 1 May 2019

Cloudy skies resumed on Monday, 29 April 2019, and continued until Tuesday, 30 April.

Open: Tuesday, 30 April 2019, 1824 MST
Temperature: 74°F
Session: 1349
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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


After opening the observatory and doing some maintenance inside the observatory, I went outside and relaxed on the observatory patio bench for awhile.

1855 MST: Dome OFF (onto the POD Zenith Table).

1908 MST: sunset.

Continued relaxing on the bench watching the stars come out.

1930 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Slewed the star Regulus and SYNCed the AutoStar. Prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging. Then returned to the bench to continue watching the stars come out.

1948 MST: back in the observatory.

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

2000 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to the galaxy NGC3344 and viewed it, 102X. It was faintly visible about 30 minutes before the end of Astronomical Twilight.

2010 MST: the Zodiacal Light was nicely visible in the western sky.

Slewed the 12" telescope back to the star Regulus, mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus, focused on the star, and locked the telescope primary mirror. Then slewed to NGC3344.

2018 MST: StarLock ON.

Began imaging. Unfortunately the astronomical seeing was very poor. It was a challenge to get even good StarLock autoguided 1 minute exposures (I prefer doing 5 minute exposures). I was finally able to get five StarLock autoguided, 1 minute, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K, exposures of NGC3344 (galaxy). I stacked the five images the Macintosh app Observatory. This is the resulting image:


I then did a single StarLock autoguided, 1 minute exposure, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K, image of NGC3351 (M95, galaxy):


2059 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

As the seeing was so poor I gave up doing any more imaging. Removed the camera from the telescope.

Viewed NGC3351 (M95), 102X.

2108 MST: LX600 OFF.

2114 MST: Dome ON.

Close: Tuesday, 30 April 2019, 2122 MST
Temperature: 60°F
Session Length: 2h 58m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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