night! Will wonders never cease.
I set up my scope (my Orion 80mm refractor on a Celestron 4se mount) and imaging equipment about 9:45pm.......so anxious to get going, I 3-star aligned in alt-az mode.
Decided to take another shot at M81. Tried ten different sequences......basically 25-30 exposures at 15 seconds each. Unsuccessful. The core is bright and easily imaged, but the spiral arms are whispy and faint......very difficult to get them to stand out against a light-polluted sky. I will try again, but from a dark sky location.......with my scope polar-aligned carefully. Hopefully I can push the exposures to 30 seconds without getting oblong stars.
I was a little more successful with M82. Although I think I might get a little more detail with my 104mm Mak-Cass at 1300mm focal length. The object's apparent size is small. I am shooting at approximately 80x with the 80mm. I would be shooting at approx 260x with the Mak.
Once again, I struggled with the Camera (Meade DSI) and Meade's Autostar software. Ever since I updated the software from Meade's website, all the settings react differently......and the camera does not seem as sensitive. (may be my imagination...not sure) I finally called it a night at 3:00am.
Looking forward to another clear night.......Jupiter had climbed to about 25 degress above the horizon when I went inside. Looking forward to a night of steady seeing for some webcam imaging of the GRS (Great Red Spot).