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D850 DSLR imaging: Elephant Trunk & Bubble Nebulae, Mars

Posted: 12 October 2020

Open: Sunday, 11 October 2020, 2033 MST
Temperature: 69°F
Session: 1536
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 2X Powermate
1.25" 3X TeleXtender


2040 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Jupiter and 3 moons, Saturn and 3 moons, and Mars, 102X.

Then began setting up for Deep Sky Object imaging. Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus using the Starizona Filter Slider System. Then focused on a convenientlly located star and locked the 12" primary mirror.

2102 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to IC1396 (Elephant Trunk Nebula).

2106 MST: StarLock ON.

Did a couple of framing test images. Then took this image (slightly cropped) of IC1396 (Elephant Trunk Nebula), StarLock autoguided, 10 minutes, ISO 6400 MST, White Balance 5560K, using the Explore Scientific UHC filter.


I then slewed to NGC7635 (Bubble Nebula). Did StarLock autoguided, 10 minutes, ISO 6400 MST, White Balance 5560K, exposures through the UHC (left), HA (middle), and OIII (right) filters. The three images were merged for the final result (cropped).

photo photo photo

2221 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Mars, 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + 2X Powermate + 3X TeleXtender. This is a stack of 3615 video frames (1080p, 60fps, 1/400sec, ISO 3200, White Balance Auto). North is at the top. Visible in the image are Syrtis Major (triangular dark area pointing up), the North Polar Hood, and the South Polar Ice Cap.


2241 MST: ended imaging.

Viewed Mars, 203X and 102X.

2250 MST: LX600 OFF.

2300 MST: took a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.

Close: Sunday, 11 October 2020, 2306 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 2h 33m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.19

The CalSky service has been terminated. I was proud to have been a sponsor as it was my source of satellite crossings of the Moon and Sun.


Although not as convenient, the ISS TRANSIT FINDER provides crossing predictions. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to receive notifications of upcoming crossings.

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