Last updated: 9 December 2005

3 December 2005

The forecast for 3 December was for CLEAR SKIES! So off I went again to Oracle Observatory.

On this trip I only took a few photographs with the Nikon D70. Some were done at Prime Focus of my LXD55-8"SC and some were done with the camera piggyback on the LXD55-8"SC. One of the purposes of the trip was to test an AC Adapter for the D70 connected to an inverter. I have a separate report on that. The other purpose was to test what might be required to successfully capture the Horsehead Nebula in Orion with the D70.

When I arrived at 1330 the temperature was 63°F but by sunset at 1721 it had dropped to 51°F. When I retired for the night at midnight the temperature was 40°F.

As usual the first thing I did upon arrival was to set up the tent and observing equipment. Here is a short Quicktime movie (2.8MB) showing the set up. As you can see in the movie, the sky was mostly a nice blue and cloud free.

Sunset was a pretty sight:


To the Southwest was a thin crescent Moon with Venus above it:

Moon and Venus

Here is Venus at Prime Focus of the 8"SC (1/60 sec @ ISO 200):


And the crescent Moon at Prime Focus of the 8"SC (1/15 sec @ ISO 200):


The Pleiades, M45, D70/200mm piggyback on the LXD55-8"SC (90 sec @ ISO 1000):


Orion's Belt (left) and M42 (right) region, D70/200mm piggyback on the LXD55-8"SC (5 min @ ISO 1000):


If you know where to look in the above photograph you will see that I did capture the Horsehead Nebula (faintly) in this 5 minute guided exposure. I did some processing, including stacking the above single image multiple times, to generate this image:


If you look closely you will see the Horsehead Nebula just to the right of center of the image. My next trip to Oracle Observatory will concentrate on getting multiple images for stacking.

Until next time...

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Copyright ©2005 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@mac.com
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