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Thread: First Catch of the Season

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    Default First Catch of the Season



    ...My season starts in August. June and July being too light for much worthwhile astrophotography, north of 51st latitude...

    Tonight's target is NGC891, an edge-on galaxy 30Mly away with a pronounced dust lane.

    I've had a few setbacks tonight. I had an ambitious plan to take advantage of the excellent weather and dark sky. I had to re-do the polar alignment, but once it was dialed in, the 2+1-star-align cycle on the AVX mount went very smoothly.
    Then I started to set up my laptop just as darkness began to fall... and an aurora appeared in the sky right on top of NGC891! Darn it - only an astrophotographer would curse his bad luck having aurora in the sky!

    Once the guiding was going I started taking test shots, when suddenly I realized that clouds were rolling in from behind me. PHD lost its guide star repeatedly as the clouds passed over my target.
    I stuck with it, and finally the bank of clouds passed. Have now had >1 hour clear sky. The auroras are still there, but NGC891 has risen above them.
    I'm a little worried that I screwed up the focus. The stars on the camera viewscreen are a bit "blobby" but at least they're round now.
    For now I'm just glad that I can get any 5-minute exposures at all. The Canon 6D is taking it in nicely at ISO 800. Do these things ever wear out? This camera is closing in on 30,000 shutter openings.
    -Steven F.
    Scope: Lunt Eng. 102mm f/7 ED doublet refractor, mount: Celestron VX, EP: Celestron Luminos, camera: Canon 6D

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    Default Re: First Catch of the Season

    Oof. This galaxy is tiny. Only 350 pix across in my images.
    ...and Apparently I can't upload a preview today.
    Will try again later when the processing is done.
    Gabby76 likes this.
    -Steven F.
    Scope: Lunt Eng. 102mm f/7 ED doublet refractor, mount: Celestron VX, EP: Celestron Luminos, camera: Canon 6D

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    Default Re: First Catch of the Season

    You will have to use a third party host to upload images. The site uploading does not work.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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    / camera. - Gabrielle

    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
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    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: First Catch of the Season

    No problem. I suspected as much. The sneak previews aren't very impressive anyway
    -Steven F.
    Scope: Lunt Eng. 102mm f/7 ED doublet refractor, mount: Celestron VX, EP: Celestron Luminos, camera: Canon 6D

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