Seems to be a good night (so far!)
by, 07-22-2012 at 07:26 AM (246 Views)
Not a cloud in site, nice temperature, milky way just visible. Tonight when I balanced the scope I left it slightly camera end heavy on both the RA and DEC.
Sky's are so nice I did a 2 alignment 4 calibration alignment in just a few minutes. Started with my favorite double (Mizar), dialed in the finder scope to get it set just right off the main OTA and matching with the finderscope from Backyard EOS. All the subsequent stars matched perfectly between the finderscope & BackyardEOS's reticle. Albirero made a good alignment star, easy to identify and certainly a double. Also used Vega & Dubhe.
Since I used the bright Vega as one of the alignment stars I put the Bahtinov mask on and focused at the same time. I also kept the legs fairly short tonight. It was fun aligning Vega tonight which is very high in the sky in the viewfinder.
I was browsing the mounts list of named objects and figured I'd check out this "Whirlpool Galaxy" thing. Saturn was not too impressive at prime focus, just too small still.
Wow! It certainly is a whirlpool in the viewfinder. I figured I'd try things at the higher ISO's tonight to insure and minimize tracking as much as possible. The stars appear to be sticking to points instead of smears so maybe I'll get something to look at tonight.
First set of lights 45 seconds, 6400 ISO,
Second set, 50 seconds 12800 ISO, (very high)
Third set, 90 seconds, 6400 ISO. (longest lights I've attempted so far, seems to be holding the tracking)
Fourth set, 100 seconds 12800 ISO Histogram too far to the right, tracking issues apparent.
Fifth set , 60 seconds 3200 ISO.
Popped in the Astronomik CLS filter to give it a quick test. The background certainly appears a bit darker so far.
First set, 60 seconds, 3200 ISO (histogram a little low esp. in red)
Second 50 second, 12800 ISO,
Shot duplicate sets that I shot earlier without for comparisons.
It looks like it suppresses and squishes out the reds on the histogram. At a quick glance, the backgrounds do seem darker.
Finished up my lights, figured since Andromeda was so high in the sky I'd give it a quick try. First shot came out looking pretty decent. After a few I noticed everything was soft and mushy. Dew! :-( Time to start shooting my darks.
I need to get my WDS working and setup a second wireless router near the other end of the house to keep the laptop connected to the wireless.