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Poor Seeing Continued; Omega Centauri, Galaxy Imaging

Posted: 26 May 2019

Open: Saturday, 25 May 2019, 1909 MST
Temperature: 77°F
Session: 1354
Conditions: Clear

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


1918 MST: relaxed on observatory patio bench.

1925 MST: sunset.

2000 MST: back inside the observatory. Prepared D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

2007 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Slewed to the star Spica and SYNCed the AutoStar. Slewed to Omega Centauri (globular cluster) very low in the southern sky, but it was currently behind a tree.

2017 MST: Omega Centauri now visible.

2027 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope, focused on Spica, and locked the primary mirror.

2037 MST: StarLock ON.

Seeing was not good and Omega Centauri is so low in the southern sky from Cassiopeia Observatory that getting a good image was difficult. This is a StarLock autoguided, 30 seconds, ISO 2000, White Balance 4000K, exposure:


Slewed to the star Regulus, SYNCed the AutoStar, and tweaked the focus.

2050 MST: High Precision ON.

Began imaging NGC3344 (galaxy). Astronomical seeing continued to be poor this session. I suspect that the weather system that has been creating our strong wind during the daytime over the past few days is also creating conditions in the upper atmosphere that is causing poor seeing at night. I made several adjustments in the RA Tracking Rate, but nothing helped to get good autoguiding. The longest fairly good autoguided exposure I managed was this 117 seconds, ISO 6400, WB 5000K image:


I ended imaging this session due to the poor seeing.

2127 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed NGC3344 (galaxy), 102X.

2138 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 25 May 2019, 2149 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 2h 40m
Conditions: Clear

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