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Lagoon, Eagle, Swan, & Trifid Nebulae

Posted: 8 September 2021

Tuesday, 7 September 2021, was clear but hazy from smoke from distant wildfires.

Open: Tuesday, 7 September 2021, 1825 MST
Temperature: 84°F
Session: 1661
Conditions: Clear, hazy from smoke

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 14mm 100° eyepiece
2" UHC filter


Relaxed on the observatory patio bench.

1841 MST: sunset.

1842 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Mercury, then Venus, 102X. Both planets were near half-phase.

I then returned to the bench to watch the stars come out.

1930 MST: back inside the observatory. Prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

Viewed Saturn and four moons, 102X and 174X. Viewed Jupiter, the Great Red Spot, and four moons, 174X.

Viewed M8 (Lagoon Nebula), M16 (Eagle Nebula), M17 (Swan Nebula), and M20 (Trifid Nebula), 174X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + UHC filter, focused on Antares, and locked the 12" primary mirror.

1953 MST: StarLock ON.

Began imaging. Took multiple images of each object. Seeing was not great (due to the smoke) so autoguiding was not always good. Had to keep exposures short for most of the images. Only got one good image of M16 (Eagle Nebula); a satellite ruined the other images.

M8 Lagoon Nebula (stack of 4 1 minute, ISO 6400, exposures)

M16 Eagle Nebula & Pillars of Creation (single 5 minutes, ISO 6400, exposure)

M17 Swan Nebula (stack of 5 2 minutes, ISO 6400, exposures)

M20 Trifid Nebula (stack of 5 2 minutes, ISO 6400, exposures)

2101 MST: StarLock OFF.

2113 MST: clouds and lightning from a distant storm were visible in the southeastern sky. The Milky Way was barely visible due to the smoky sky.

Viewed Jupiter and four moons, 102X.

2115 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 7 September 2021, 2126 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session Length: 3h 01m
Conditions: Mostly clear, smoky, humidity 49%

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