Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Deep South Star Gaze, part II

Oct 27 - Third night of the DSSG
Heather came up after school so I had an observing buddy.  Set up the Mallincam with the 2” FC + the MFR-8, so I'll be running at F 4.26 with a FOV of 21.4 x 16.1 arcmin.   My observing plan is to continue with the Herschel 400 list I started last month.  At 2245 took a sky meter reading of 21.18 (6.22 mag). It is damp but clear and steady.

     At 0029 took another sky reading, and got 21.11. Has been a great night. I knocked out the 10 Herschel 400 objects in Cetus and saw a few other things as well.  I viewed a few objects through Heather's Edge HD-1100 and also I got to view the Orion nebula through a 25” Obsession dob.  Shut down at 0039.

Oct 28 - Fourth night of the DSSG
I decided to change my optical setup to the 2” FR + the MFR-3. Based on a measurement of an image of the ring nebula, this focal reduction combination provided a 18.6 x 13.9 arcmin field and F 4.91. I'm hoping this milder reduction setup will provide better color rendition.   I'm using the same settings on the Mallincam the past few nights, AGC 6, ATW, contrast 80 – 90, brightness 10 – 50% depending on object. After a view of the Ring Nebula, I continued my hunt of Hershal objects

At 2325 measured sky reading of 21.18 , a beautiful night.  I knocked out many objects in a really nice night although cold and damp. Shut down at 0158.

Oct 29
Fifth and final night of the DSSG. Same optical setup as last night. As I was viewing the first object of the evening, I bumped the mount (hit counter weight with my head – OUCH !!) I reset the scope to CWD position and cycled the GEMINI and cold started but my gotos were off.   The polar alignment was off so I obviously hit the counterweights hard.   I reset the polar alignment and built a Gemini model, but the stars in the Mallincam were not as bright as the past few nights.  I viewed a couple of objects and at 2324 I called it a night as I have to pack up and drive home tomorrow.  I frustrated my last night wasn't as good as the previous two, but I had 2 very good nights observing  I also won a couple of door prizes, including an Explore Scientific eyepiece.   We had a nice time at the DSSG.

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