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NGC3344 Galaxy

Posted: 30 May 2019

Monday, 27 May 2019, continued the same daytime windy weather pattern as the past several days. Due to the wind and an early morning commitment the next day I did not open the observatory that night. I was not worried about missing one night as the forecast for the next night was for a clear sky. However, the forecast changed overnight to being cloudy Tuesday night, 28 May, and clouds did begin appearing after sunrise. Wednesday, 29 May, dawned clear with a clear sky forecast for the night.

In my last report I showed some photos of the initial 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites. SpaceX has been listening to the concerns of astronomers as reported at However, his comment "We need to move telescopes to orbit anyway" would seem to ignore the concerns of professional astronomers with billions of dollars of ground-based facilities and equipment, amateur astronomers, and the public who cherish seeing the stars. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) released a statement on the SpaceX Starlink satellites on 29 May 2019.

Open: Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 1918 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session: 1356
Conditions: Clear

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


1927 MST: sunset.

Relaxed on the observatory patio bench for awhile.

2002 MST: began watching for a pass of the 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites. None seen against the still bright twilight sky about an hour before the end of Astronomical Twilight.

2015 MST: prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

2021 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Slewed to the star Regulus and SYNCed the AutoStar.

2040 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope, focused, and locked the 12" mirror.

2046 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to NGC3344 (galaxy).

2048 MST: StarLock ON.

Began imaging NGC3344. Starlock autoguiding was very erratic, probably due to poor seeing again this night. I took 30 images. After the first 7 images I gave up trying to autoguide for 5 minute exposures. Out of the last 23 images only three 1 minute exposures were usable. These StarLock autoguided images of 1 minute, ISO 6400, White Balance 5000K, were stacked using the Mac app Observatory.


I slewed to NGC3351 (M95, galaxy) and tried to image it. I gave up after 17 exposures when I could only get a few seconds exposure for each image before autoguiding would trail the images. Gave up imaging this session.

2143 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed NGC3351 (M95, galaxy), 102X.

2154 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 2205 MST
Temperature: 62°F
Session Length: 2h 47m
Conditions: Clear

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