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Herschel 400 Catalog imaging & observing

Posted: 24 December 2022

Clouds began arriving mid-afternoon on Thursday, 22 December 2022. The sky cleared on Friday, 23 December.

Open: Friday, 23 December 2022, 1812 MST
Temperature: 63°F
Session: 1815
Conditions: Clear

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


1815 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1825 MST: Viewed Mercury, 102X. Venus was too low in the southwestern sky.

Next, viewed the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, and Mars, 102X.

1838 MST: High Precision ON.

Viewed NGC225 (open cluster), 102X.

Prepared the D850 DSLR to re-image two objects in the Herschel 400 Catalog that I had tried to image on the previous session. Mounted the D850 at prime focus, focused on the star Capella, and locked the 12" primary mirror. Slewed to NGC225.

1852 MST: StarLock ON.

Took this StarLock autoguided image of NGC225 (open cluster), 5 minutes, ISO 3200. Also visible in the image is the faint blue reflection nebula VdB 4.


I then slewed to NGC246 (planetary nebula) and began imaging it. As on the previous session when imaging this object, autoguiding was erratic. I tried moving the nebula off-center but that didn't help. Since the StarLock autoguiding telescope was pointed near the edge of the dome, I decided to slide the dome off.

1920 MST: Dome OFF.

Autoguiding was still erratic for this object.

One fairly good attempt was ruined by an airplane and a satellite passing through the field-of-view.


I managed to get this good StarLock autoguided image, 1 minute, ISO 6400.


1942 MST: StarLock OFF.

1950 MST: Dome ON.

I then observed some more objects in the Herschel 400 Catalog, 102X: NGC247 (galaxy), NGC253 (Sculptor Galaxy), NGC278 (galaxy), NGC288 (globular cluster), NGC381 (open cluster), NGC404 (galaxy), NGC436 (open cluster), NGC457 (open cluster), and NGC488 (galaxy).

2016 MST: LX600 OFF.

2025 MST: Took a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.

Close: Friday, 23 December 2022, 2030 MST
Temperature: 48°F
Session Length: 2h 18m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.00

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