Imaging: Milky Way, Eagle Nebula, Iris Nebula
Posted: 21 August 2019
Monday, 19 August 2019, the sky cleared as sunset approached but clouds returned shortly afterwards.
Open: Tuesday, 20 August 2019, 1830 MST
After opening the observatory I set up the D850 DSLR with a 24-70mm lens on a camera tripod to the north of the observatory for later sky astrophotography.
1855 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
1856 MST: viewed Jupiter, 102X. Two moons were visible.
1905 MST: sunset. Decided to relax on the observatory patio bench while waiting for the sky to get dark.
1945 MST: returned to the observatory. Viewed Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons and Saturn with three moons visible, 102X.
1951 MST: viewed M11 (Wild Duck Cluster, open star cluster), 102X.
2007 MST: stepped outside of the observatory to begin untracked sky astrophotography.
The heart of the Milky Way over Cassiopeia Observatory, with Saturn to the left and Jupiter to the right (f/2.8, 20 seconds, ISO 3200, White Balance 4550K, FL 24mm):
More of the Milky Way (f/2.8, 20 seconds, ISO 3200, White Balance 4550K, FL 24mm):
The Milky Way in the northern sky (f/2.8, 20 seconds, ISO 5000, White Balance 4550K, FL 24mm). The constellation of Cassiopeia is at the bottom middle (lost in the stars of the Milky Way) along with the Double Cluster. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is also visible at the bottom.
I attempted to photograph the LightSail 2 satellite as it crossed low in the southern sky. However, at Mag. +6.3 it was lost in the sky glow.
2103 MST: back inside the observatory. Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer, focused on the star Altair, and locked the primary mirror.
2115 MST: High Precision ON.
Slewed to M16 (Eagle Nebula).
2118 MST: StarLock ON.
M16, Eagle Nebula, with the "Pillars of Creation", StarLock autoguided, 3 minutes, ISO 5000, WB 4550K, slightly cropped:
NGC7023, Iris Nebula, StarLock autoguided, 3 minutes, ISO 5000, WB 4550K, slightly cropped:
2203 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Done imaging. Viewed NGC7023 (Iris Nebula), 102X. Then viewed Saturn, 102X.
The eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon.
2220 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Tuesday, 20 August 2019, 2230 MST
Session Length: 4h 00m|
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