All images (except trails): Canon EOS 20Da (unmodified), Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) with reducer, guided with SBIG STV, Losmandy G-11 mount. My current image processing workflow is here.
I spent two crisp and clear nights at the HAS (Houston Astronomical Society) site Nov 19-20. There was a moderate frost the night of the 20th -- I blew out a fuse on one of my dew heater controllers trying to keep everything warm. Frost was forming at 1:00 a.m. Temperature was 31 degrees a bit before dawn as I was leaving the site. The first night was great with a light breeze and next to no dew.
Since I had the luxury of a large number of sub-exposures, I used the IP grade function to discard images with focus worse than a "B" in these images. That ended up costing me about 20% of the images... Those darn rapid temperature drops are a pain.
Losmandy G11 update: I've have nights when I just wasn't happy with the G11's performance, and nights like tonight where it was good to very good. These two nights I decided to add some weight to my guide scope. As you can see on my main equipment page (side-saddle photos) I have to offset the guide scope by a lot to get it to balance with the heavier TOA. A also spent a great deal of time getting the two scopes to balance exactly, I got a very good polar alignment, and I was shooting more northerly targets. I'm not sure how much the added guide scope weight helped, but I'm going to keep doing it based on my experience. I should also mention the seeing seemed pretty good, and that may help things quite a bit also.
Index for November 19-21, 2006
Astronomy Pictures: Dick Locke's Astrophoto Gateway page....
Copyright © 2006 Dick Locke. All Rights Reserved.
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Session Notes 20th:
Darks early 6:36 temp 44 dewp 40 lght breeze from east
8:00 40 degrees dewp 37.5
Veil guiding smooth < 1 arc sec
10:30 temp 35 dewpoint 34, very light dew
Cave, reducer, guiding <1 for long periods, futzed with focus a bunch
star trails f8 shq200 checked focus used small hand warmer on f3/14mm f2 15mm lenses. Screwed up f2 pointing north due to 1/60 not bulb setting. Almost no dew 1st night with the breeze. Pretty calm night 2 at 10:40. Slight haze cropped up about an hour ago "airglow" zenith quite dark but light on horizons
refocus @11:35 temp 34 dewpoint 33 light dew]
Trails stopped around 11 due to dew. Put 2 small handwarmers on F2 after warming lens put towel over camera and start shooting with Orion starting on left.
3373 has line of some sort in it
1:30 back on IC 443, brightening in cave at end - skyglow? turned up dew heater as trace of fog on toa, put on just-cheney dewshield.
temp 31/dewp31 at 4:05
Session Notes 19th
First flats with scope, then 24mm lens at f8
9:30 refocus (wasn't too good at end of sequence)
air temp 47 dewp 41 very light breeze
All picture times are 1 hour ahead of actual night 19th/morn 20th.
Shooting western veil, 22 images night of 19th, some focus issues
was guiding ~1 arc sec at end of first seq.
guiding 1.5ish on 2nd sequence
Cave around 11 dewp 40 and temp 47, still light breeze
12:30 temp 44
43 images total 172min
ic443 supernova remnant near m35
1:50 refocus test
4:00 switch sides on mount refocus
airtemp 46 dewpt 37! slight breeze
flaming star could use more exposure
IC405, Flaming Star has been shot
with or without flattener`
NGC2174 near orion,with flattener OK
NGC891 (spindle galaxy dark in middle) andromeda - no reducer
NGC7822 worth a shot at some point Cephus, wide
Cave Nebula SH2-155 in Cepeus, entry 9 in the "Caldwell Catalog"
wide good, halpha good
http://www.skyfactory.org/sh2-155/sh2-155.htm (has chart)
ngc 7380, cepheus, sharpless 2-142 (The Ivar thing)
any other messier in the house, open clusters and globs
NGC2359 - Thor's Helmet monoceros
NGC6820 south cygnus
Fall 2006 plans
Cocoon nebula IC 5146, Cygnus and B168