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Still Smokey Sky, Siamese Twins Galaxies, Knife Edge Galaxy

Posted: 10 June 2020

Tuesday, 9 June 2020, was clear and calm. There was still some smoke in the sky from the Bighorn and Tortolita fires. The top photo was taken in the morning and the middle photo was taken in the afternoon and show smoke from the Bighorn Fire. The bottom photo shows smoke from the Tortolita Fire looking towards Kitt Peak National Observatory. The photo also shows a "sun glint" from the WIYN 3.5m observatory.


Open: Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 1919 MST
Temperature: 84°F
Session: 1490
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece


1934 MST: sunset.

1935 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1945 MST: relaxed on the observatory patio bench to wait for the western sky to get darker.

1957 MST: viewed Mercury, 102X and 271X. Attempted to image the planet but it was too low and seeing was not good.

2007 MST: saw two Kissing Bugs on the dome. Terminated one. The other was too high up on the dome to reach.

Prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

Returned to the bench to relax. 2045 MST: back in the observatory.

2047 MST: viewed NGC4567 and NGC4568 (Siamese Twins galaxies), 102X. These galaxies are colliding.

2051 MST: dome OFF.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus, focused on the star Spica using the Meade Bahtinov Mask, and locked the 12" primary mirror using the ScopeStuff LX600 Mirror Lock.

2059 MST: Kissing Bug #2 terminated.

2105 MST: StarLock ON.

After doing some framing tests and determining that seeing was not good enough for long accurate autoguiding, I did several StarLock autoguided, 2 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance 5560K, images. Only two had accurate autoguiding. This is a stack of those two images (effective exposure 4 minutes). NGC4567 is the top twin and NGC4568 is the bottom one. At the top of the image is NGC4564 (galaxy).


2137 MST: dome ON.

Slewed to NGC5907 (Knife Edge Galaxy). Took this StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 5560K, image.


Both images have been slightly cropped from full-frame.

2202 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed NGC5907 (Knife Edge Galaxy), 102X.

2213 MST: LX600 OFF.

2225 MST: did a Sky Quality reading.

Close: Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 2229 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session Length: 3h 10m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.28

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