Monday, September 05, 2016

hung out (Blue Mountains)

Didn't do much tonight. Spent most of my time hangin' out on the Observing Pad. Tired. Burnt out, even. Didn't really have a plan. Didn't feel like chasing more faint, tight doubles or low surface brightness galaxy blobs.

Whole sky observing.

Sailu and Kevin were both imaging on the Pad. Sailu longer focal length shots, again on the CAO's Star Adventurer, were very good.

Remembered, finally, to shoot my darks. Captured 30 second, ISO 1000 darks for the many aurora images. Captured darks for the astronomy-for-birds series. And the double stars through the C14, at fractions of a second. OK.

Ian W gave a quick demo of starting up an imaging run with his rig. Many steps. It all made sense but I'd be lost, I think, without his notes. I look forward to reviewing them. Dan was intrigued.

We ramped up to shoot my target: NGC 147.

Later Ian invited Dan and I back to the shed to examine the first couple of luminance shots. Initial results looked fair. We corrected some guiding issues.

We viewed the Helix Nebula (aka NGC 7293 and Caldwell 63) in Ian's 20" homemade Dobsonian. Low! But obvious in the eyepiece. Big and round. Double-round.

We talked about going after a quasar. But there weren't any well-placed targets according to our criteria.

I tried, a couple of times, to star hop to a target with Ian W's big Dob. But I was unsettled. And, in the end, got distracted or pulled away.

We were hoping for more aurora but none emerged.

The skies were a bit better than Saturday night. It was cooler. No dew as the evening progressed.

I helped Mary-Ann in a number of ways. When she arrived, the supervisor was off-site. So I did the site and observatory tour. I deferred the room assignment as I did not know Denis's new plan. As dusk fell, I helped her start up, align, and use the NexStar 11 GPS. I checked in at various points. She had a blast.

Finally, I head to my dorm room. I was pooped.


Reduced the NGC 147 data on Sunday 25 September 2016.

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