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A great, if short night at Seething. Finally a dark Friday night with no moon. Was about half ten when we started, a quick look at Jupiter, with Callisto very close to the 'top' almost grazing the upper edge. Main belts visible, but not the best of views. Moved onto Epsilon Lyra, the double double, easily split the lower pair, but not the upper. Spent ages 'faffing' with the slow mo controls East of Izar until I found Comet C2015 Johnson, thrilled to do so in my 3"Tak, best view was with a 15mm Panoptic; was too dark in the 9mm. It wasn't a night for Galaxies, I had planned (hoped) to spend time in Virgo looking at Markarian's chain, but struggled to see M65/M66 in Leo, even the view of M81/M82 wasn't great. Newbie error was that I didn't put the dew heaters on until too late, despite all the sunshine and heat of the day, by 1am was so damp. The new DewZapper tape was put to use on the eyepieces for the first time and can confirm it's a super, well made product. After a coffee moved onto M3, an easy find, about a third of the way along from Arcturus to Cor Caroli, and then to the globulars of Ophiuchus. I managed 10, 12 and 14 and even 107. It was then that I realised that twinkling low down star was Antares, so a quick look at Saturn; always a beautiful sight, but again not the clearest of views before finding the compact Globular Cluster M80, small but one I rarely get the opportunity to observe. By contrast M4 is mahoosive! Just West of Antares, low down, easier to find, it's I think one of the closest to us(?) i moved up to Aquilla and followed a line of faint stars to Scutum for M11, the Wild Duck Cluster a favourite - it's an Open Cluster that looks like it could be a Globular, anyway a lovely view, I couldn't find M26, lost I think in the clouds of the Milky Way...but moved across to the Eagle, not the greatest of views, even with a UHC filter, but underneath, almost in the same field of view in the Panoptic, was the Swan and did it look like a swan, albeit upside down, but there it was! #Stoked. Having seen the Swan and Eagle and spent time just enjoying seeing them, I realised that there was a chance of the 'elusive' Lagoon. We rarely get the chance to see this from Seething, it's just too low, but found it and spent ages enjoying the view, with and without a filter. I'd been joined by another NAS member, who'd come let me know that he was leaving and that I'd be the last one on site, he'd stayed to 'just have a quick look' at the Wild Duck Cluster, but hadn't seen any of the objects we'd been looking at afterwards, so he was as delighted to see the Lagoon as I was. We then moved onto look for M22, the "Star Cloud" and saw M28 on the way, but couldn't find M22; it was only when I looked up to the Plough to get my bearings that I realised that the stars were fading, but not through cloud, by about 02:30 it was too light. Sunrise was coming. So not the night that I'd planned and hoped for, no Galaxies in Virgo and too light to see any of the objects in Sagittarius as that rose, but I live for nights like this and the opportunity to see the more Southerly objects, all the better to share the views too, with an equally enthusiastic observer. Let's hope we get more of the same this Summer. Chris
pete_l posted a topic in Imaging Challenge #3 - 30 Second Exposures (Now Closed)ED80 + 0.85FR + modded Canon 1100d, finder-guider with PHD2, HEQ5 117 * 30 sec RAWs Taken on May 22 Processing by Deep Sky Stacker, using the comet option that both aligns on the comet AND re-aligns a second image on the stars - hence no trails. A little bit of Photoshop to enhance the colour and remove some artifacts that DSS left behind. Cropped and framed
Hi, I don't usually post too many images. But I've been having quite a bit of fun with my runs on this comet. I found a free GIF file generator site and it has given me pause to try my hand at some oddities. I've been working on inputting the RA and DEC settings directly in Stellarium and pleased with the results. Then I had reason to really do an acid test one night with a meridian flip. I was at the crossing of the Meridian, but my pillow was calling me. So I forced the flip by making the mount Go-To home position, then slew back to C2015 V2. I reopened PHD2 and got it started again. Once it was running on guiding, I began the Sequence in my camera program for 25 images 600 seconds each, and went to bed. Sweet Dreams! I figured I could delete any images too horrid anyway. I was pleased with the mount and Stellarium's targeting, and with PHD2's guiding. I think the flashes are from cars behind me over my fence. But since I'm a Post Processing minimalist, I left them run. And finally, a bit of fun... I made a comical post here and a friend made a fun comment about wagging my Johnson. So I posted a proper wag for him.