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Sculptor Galaxy with Explore Scientific UHC Filter

Posted: 14 November 2020

The cloudy sky that ended my previous session continued on Friday, 13 November 2020. However, the sky cleared late afternoon.

Open: Friday, 13 November 2020, 1814 MST
Temperature: 66°F
Session: 1553
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
UHC Filter


Viewed Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons, 12x50 binoculars. Then viewed Saturn and its Ring, 12x50 binoculars. Jupiter and its four moons and Saturn were visible in the same 4.6° field-of-view of the binoculars.

1823 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

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

Then viewed NGC253 (Sculptor Galaxy), 102X. It was still low in the southeastern sky.

1830-1858 MST: relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for the sky to get darker. Using the 12x50 binoculars I observed M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and its satellite galaxies M32 and M110, M33 (Triangulum Galaxy), the Double Cluster, Mars (which still showed a disk in the binoculars), and M45 (the Pleiades).

I noticed that a neighbor's "greenhouse lighting" was turned on once again. The lights had not been on for several months. When I had pointed out the issue months ago the neighbor had installed some shielding, which helped a lot. Unfortunately the shielding was not evident this night, as seen in this iPhone photograph.


1910 MST: did an AutoStar tour of Deep Sky Objects in the constellation of Perseus, 102X: M76 (Little Dumbbell Nebula), Double Cluster, M34 (open cluster), NGC1245 (open cluster), NGC1275 (small, faint galaxy), NGC1342 (open cluster), IC348 (faint nebula), and NGC1528 (open cluster).

1939 MST: viewed NGC253 (Sculptor Galaxy), 102X. Began waiting for it to rise a little higher in the sky.

1951 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus using the Filter Slider System, inserted the Explore Scientific 2" UHC filter, focused on the star Fomalhaut using a Bahtinov Mask, and locked the 12" mirror.

2000 MST: StarLock ON.

Did some StarLock autoguided, ISO 6400, White Balance 4000K, images of NGC253 using various exposure lengths. Seeing was not as good as it had been on the three previous sessions, so autoguiding was not as good. This is a 10 minutes exposure of the Sculptor Galaxy through the UHC filter.


2029 MST: StarLock OFF.

Took a final look at the Sculptor Galaxy, 102X.

2040 MST: LX600 OFF.

2052 MST: did a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.

Close: Friday, 13 November 2020, 2055 MST
Temperature: 53°F
Session Length: 2h 41m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 20.97

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