SpaceX Starlink observations, Optolong SHO Orion Nebula,
Hubble's Variable Nebula
Posted: 14 January 2020
I purchased a Unihedron SQM-L meter that was received on Monday, 13 January 2020. I will be using it for Night Sky Quality readings at Cassiopeia Observatory and at other locations when I attend star parties. Readings will be submitted to the Globe at Night when appropriate.
Open: Monday, 13 January 2020, 1800 MST
I set up the D850 DSLR with a 14mm UWA lens on the observatory patio. I used it to do some test videos of SpaceX Starlink satellites from the third launch.
1826-1855 MST: I observed six Starlink satellites ranging in Magnitude from about +1 to +3. The satellite observations were spread out about every 3-5 minutes. No satellites "train" was seen. I did videos of the two satellites at Mag. +3, but while the satellites were recorded the videos were not quite good enough. By the time I saw the four brighter satellites (near the zenith) I had already removed the camera from the tripod. I will use a faster lens on my next attempt.
1843 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed the planet Venus, 102X. Nice gibbous phase.
1904 MST: viewed M42 (the Great Nebula in Orion), 102X.
I then began preparing to image M42 using the Optolong SHO Narrowband Filters. I mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus using the Starizona Filter Slider System.
1930 MST: took my first Night Sky Quality reading with the Unihedron SQM-L. It was 21.0. I have seen much darker skies at Cassiopeia Observatory so this reading was not typical.
1940 MST: StarLock ON.
This is a StarLock autoguided image (slightly cropped) of the Orion Nebula without any filters (1 minute, ISO 3200).
I then took these images of M42 using the SHO filters.
HA, 1 minute, ISO 3200
OIII, 1 minute, ISO 3200
SII, 4 minutes, ISO 3200
The three images were edited, aligned, and merged in Photoshop, resulting in this image (slightly cropped).
2016 MST: High Precision ON.
Slewed to NGC2261 (Hubble's Variable Nebula). Took this StarLock autoguided image (no filters, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, cropped).
2025 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Removed the camera and Filter System. Viewed NGC2261 (Hubble's Variable Nebula), 102X. Good view; looked like a comet.
2043 MST: LX600 OFF.
2046 MST: took another SQM reading. 21.1
Close: Monday, 13 January 2020, 2054 MST
SQM: 21.1, 2046 MST
Session Length: 2h 54m|
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