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Flaming Star Nebula, Ghost of Jupiter Nebula

Posted: 4 April 2021

Open: Saturday, 3 April 2021, 1813 MST
Temperature: 96°F
Session: 1619
Conditions: Clear, breezy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
Focal Reducer
2" 2X Powermate
2" UHC filter

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1820 MST: after opening the observatory I began relaxing on the observatory patio bench while waiting for the sky to get darker.

1847 MST: sunset. Calm now.

1859 MST: back inside the observatory.

1900 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Slewed to M52 to observe Nova V1405 Cas that is in the same eyepiece field-of-view. 1915 MST: the nova was now visible through tree branches, 102X.

I then began preparing the D850 DSLR for imaging.

1925 MST: slewed to IC405 (Flaming Star Nebula).

1930 MST: viewed IC405, 102X. Some nebulosity was faintly visible against the twilight sky.

1941 MST: Took this handheld photograph of the sky using the iPhone 11 Pro Max Camera app (Night Mode, 10 seconds, 1X lens). Several constellations, stars clusters, and the planet Mars are visible.

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1944 MST: IC405, 102X. More of the nebula was faintly visible now.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer + UHC filter, focused on the star Capella, locked the 12" primary mirror. Slewed to IC405.

1952 MST: StarLock ON.

Took six StarLock autoguided images of IC405 (5 minutes each, ISO 12800, White Balance 5560K). This is a stack (slight crop) of the six images using Affinity Photo.

IC405 (Flaming Star Nebula)

Removed the camera and viewed NGC3242 (Ghost of Jupiter Nebula), 102X and 203X. I then mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + 2X Powermate + UHC filter. I did several StarLock autoguided images at various exposure settings. This is a stack (using Affinity Photo, cropped) of 3 exposures (30 seconds each, ISO 12800, WB 5560K).

NGC3242 (Ghost of Jupiter Nebula)

2110 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed NGC3242 (Ghost of Jupiter Nebula), 102X.

I then viewed the Galaxy Trio of NGC4278/NGC4283/NGC4286 (Mag. +10.2/12.1/13.1), 102X.

2131 MST: LX600 OFF.

2139 MST: took a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.

Close: Saturday, 3 April 2021, 2145 MST
Temperature: 68°F
Session Length: 3h 32m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.13

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