Bode's Galaxy & Cigar Galaxy
Posted: 11 March 2021
Clouds returned on Sunday, 7 March 2021, and continued until late Tuesday afternoon, 9 March. However, the wind that started on Monday, 8 March, continued throughout the night. Wednesday, 10 March, was clear but hazy with strong wind in the afternoon. The wind began decreasing as sunset approached so I decided to open the observatory with the hope that it would decrease further after sunset.
Open: Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 1818 MST
Conditions: Clear, hazy, breezy
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
2" UHC filter
SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV time signals.
1829 MST: sunset.
1830 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
1833 MST: calmer now. Began observing the star Sirius, 271X. I was trying to see Sirius B (the "Pup Star").
While waiting for the sky to get darker I prepared the D850 DSLR for galaxy imaging.
1930 MST: ended my search for Sirius B. No luck.
1935 MST: High Precision ON.
Viewed M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Cigar Galaxy), 102X. Both galaxies were visible in the same field-of-view (FOV).
Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer + UHC filter, focused on the star Regulus using a mask, SYNCed the AutoStar on the star Regulus, and locked the 12" primary mirror.
1948 MST: StarLock ON.
Did several framing test images (1 minute, ISO 12800) to get M81 and M82 centered in the camera FOV. Had to rotate the camera 90° to get the best framing, which required a refocus on Regulus and more framing test images. Then did StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 12800, White Balance 5560K, images of M81 and M82.
Here are a full frame 1 minute and a full frame 5 minutes exposure.
I stacked 4 of the 5 minutes exposures using Affinity Photo for this cropped 20 minutes effective exposure image.
2045 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed M81 and M82, 102X. Then viewed the Leo Triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628), 102X. All three galaxies were in the same FOV.
2103 MST: LX600 OFF.
2112 MST: did a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.
Close: Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 2118 MST
Session Length: 3h 00m|
Conditions: Clear, hazy, breezy, SQM 21.10
I have posted my review of the ScopeStuff ETX Rear Cell Thread Adapters with 2" SCT Schmidt Threads.
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