Saturday, August 30, 2014

observing under clouds (Lake Travers)

We did some observing and imaging from the front lawn but then we were clouded out. Better than a poke in the eye with a stick.

After returning from the antenna imaging, we retired to the library. Tried to process images.

Someone checked outside and reported it was clear! We hustled outside. Phil had his Obsession up and running. Ian had his big Dob ready to go. Bill had the twins out. I was trying out Ian's barn door tracker...

11:06 PM, Friday 29 August 2014. Finished my first barn door image tracking photo. Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Andromeda Galaxy is near the right edge and the Double Cluster near the bottom-right. 600 seconds, f/4, ISO 400, 18mm, manually focused, daylight white balance. North is bottom-left; east is bottom-right.

Found the comet in a cropped version.

11:28 PM. Viewed M33 in Ian's 20" Dobsonian. Still faint.

11:42 PM. Finished another tracked photo. This time to the south, Aquarius and Capricornus. Neptune is almost near the centre but too faint. Fomalhaut at the bottom. Clarity to the tree line, in fact, was awesome. 600 seconds, f/4, ISO 400, 18mm, manually focused, daylight white balance.

The glow in the north was not aurora.

And, again, we were clouded out... Enjoyed some midnight cookies. We packed up for the night. Gambled it wouldn't rain. Ian and Phil covered the 'scopes. Bill torn down.

12:30 AM, Saturday 30 August 2014. I was in bed, winding down. It was a very comfortable bed...


It was a lot of fun trying out the barn door tracker. Very good results for a few dollars of lumber, hardware, and a motor. I was particularly impressed with the power supply. Polar alignment was off a smidgen but hey. Good results for the first try.

I felt we had lucked out on the weather. Early in the week the weather reports had looked grim. So two nights of observing and imaging was real good. I was happy.

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