Monday, February 03, 2014

set up in backyard (Mississauga)

Crescent Moon setting. Earthshine?

Pulled stuff from the garage. Tripod, mount bits, the OTA, the small table. Moved OTA to back porch for more 'scope cooling. Applied red film to John Charles and John Phil. Plugged in the red Xmas lights in kitchen. Closed the bedroom blinds. Grabbed stuff from the bedroom, the netbook, the oculars, the camera. Readied the battery tank cooler cart. Funny timing: I finished topping them up yesterday! Couldn't find Deep Red, my custom flashlight.

Found list I had made in Psion, originally made 27 Jan...

6:57 PM. Checked the humidity. It seemed quite low at 58%. Wind: 16km/h. Made for a wind chill of -13 with the ambient -7.

7:05. Took the wool blanket downstairs to throw over mount. Decided to power the camera off house AC and the mount off the SLA battery. Didn't think I'd need the dew heaters. Hoped.

7:11. Bill asked if I was coming out to Bayview. Nope.

7:40. Spotted Jupiter over the back fence. Moved the tripod and mount outside and set them up. Attached the data and power cords. Turned the mount after remembering that north is not toward the house! Threw the wool blanket over top. Yeah. Neighbour John turned off the back light! I was ready for polar alignment...

7:45. Checked SkyTools 3 Pro. Messier 82 would be at its highest around 1AM to 2AM. So we had a ways to go. And I hadn't figured out dinner yet.

7:47. Lora bemoaned clinic registrations. Oh oh. Was getting dupes. Marilyn is hounding me about a SkyTools course. Won't be any time soon. In the meantime, read the tome.

8:01. Did a quick polar alignment. Had forgotten to check the relative position of NCP. It was also then that I realised I had forgotten the adjustable height chair.

8:23. Neighbours let dog out. Bagel freaked out, at my rustling and movement, barking and howling.

I did a better alignment after retrieving chair. Brought the table out too. Mounted the OTA.

8:27. I was ready to put the big tube on the galaxies and get tracking happening.

8:53. I had the 'scope tracking. Viewed with the 36mm eyepiece. Did a 2 star alignment. Checked Stellarium to confirm I was on target. Wow. I think I saw the supernova! Camera time!

9:29. Yes. Imaging worked! Wow. The mount was working, the go-to was working, the computer is working, the camera is working. Forgot the focus mask but I wasn't too concerned. Looked like the collimation was off. Again, not too worried.

9:31. While taking a quick break, on the York U pod cast, I saw Paul D. talking about the new version of Cosmos. He recommended checking the trailer.

9:45. I refocused on Dubhe, used the Bahtinov mask. Did another run. The target was 52° up. It was cold!

9:50. I started thinking about tomorrow. It would be a busy day. I started to pack up. Meanwhile, I shot darks.

10:13. I was done. I had completed a fairly quick shutdown. I remembered to bag the camera and computer before bringing them in.

Discovered that the rubber cap that is for the telescope visual back fits perfectly over the Canon t-adapter.  Hmmm.

Discovered the low temp grease from the CAO in the mount bag.  Now how did that get there?!

10:23. Checked the weather conditions. Current, from Env Can: mainly clear, -14°C, observed at Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport, as of 10:00 PM EST Monday 3 February 2014. Conditions were mainly clear, 102.9 kPa and rising. The temperature was -13.7°C. The dewpoint was computed at -16.3°C. The humidity was 81%. The wind was from the west at 10 km/h. The wind chill was -20.

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