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Markarian's Chain, Nova V1405 Cassiopeiae

Posted: 12 May 2021

Open: Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 1822 MST
Temperature: 87°F
Session: 1635
Conditions: Clear

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


1829-1905 MST: relaxed on the observatory patio bench.

1906 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1908 MST: viewed Venus, 102X. Nearly a full phase was visible. Then viewed Mercury, 102X. A fat crescent phase was visible.

1917 MST: sunset.

1918 MST: viewed Venus, 12x50 binoculars.

Returned to the bench to watch the stars (and planets) come out.

1921 MST: Venus now visible to the naked eye.

1923 MST: Mercury, 12x50 binoculars.

1931 MST: Mercury visible (with difficulty), naked eye.

1937 MST: Mercury now easily visible with the naked eye.

1956 MST: back inside the observatory. Prepared the D850 DSLR for imaging.

2002 MST: slewed to M52 (open star cluster) to observe Nova V1405 Cassiopeiae very low in the northern sky, but it was behind a tree.

2017 MST: dome OFF.

Viewed Markarian's Chain of galaxies (M84, M86, NGC4435, NGC4438, NGC4458, NGC4461, and NGC4473), 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer + UHC filter, focused on the star Regulus, locked the 12" primary mirror, and slewed back to M86.

2031 MST: StarLock ON.

I took several images of Markarian's Chain but autoguiding was too erratic. I managed to get only one good exposure (1 minute, ISO 12800).


I suspect the autoguiding issue is due to all the faint galaxies in this field-of-view.

2050 MST: dome ON.

Slewed to M52 for this StarLock autoguided image of M52 and Nova V1405 Cassiopeiae (30 seconds, ISO 12800, UHC).

Mouseover or tap on image
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The nova was only 4°26' above the northern horizon.

2058 MST: StarLock OFF.

2108 MST: viewed the nova and M52, 102X.

Then tried to view the nova, 12x50 binoculars, but it was too low in the sky.

2113 MST: LX600 OFF.

2123 MST: took a Sky Quality reading using the Unihedron-L meter and reported the result to Globe at Night.

Close: Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 2127 MST
Temperature: 65°F
Session Length: 3h 05m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.27

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