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Friday, July 10th, 2009
 FIRST LIGHT:
 
10:45pm  7/9/09
 
The sky started out a medium grey, and got to a light grey when the moon rose in the sky.  Light, wispy clouds drifted over......followed by a very heavy dew.  I could barely see the constellation Andromeda, let alone the galaxy.   The Milky Way.........as they say in New Jersey......forget about it.   Normally I wouldn't have attempted any imaging on a night like this, but I was chomping at the bit to try out my new "bargain" reflector OTA.
 
* 130mm, f/5, Orion short tube (650mm FL), with rings, dovetail, finder, and two
   Plossl eyepieces (give-a-ways).   $125.90 including shipping
 
By the time I got all my gear set up and ready to go in the backyard, it was about 10:45pm.  By the time I was all aligned it was nearly 11:30pm (I'm slow).  
 
Because of the poor transparency (seeing marginal), I decided to aim at a couple of tried and true objects that I had imaged before.   Considering the conditions, I am reasonably pleased.... although, all of a sudden I was getting a lot of drift from one shot to the next.   Not sure why.  Polar alignment looked good.
 
A. My new reflector at work:  That isn't dust on it, it's dew.  It was dripping wet.
 
B. M82  the Cigar galaxy: 
55 subs @ 30 seconds per sub =  27.5 minutes
I think this is probably my best M82 to date.  
 
C. M101  the Pinwheel galaxy:
35 subs @ 40 seconds per sub = 23 minutes
I needed way more time on this one, but the moon was just killing the sky.....along with the above mentioned haze, and moisture.   I decided to wait for a better night.
 
By the time I packed up and went in......everything looked like it had just gone through a downpour.   Dew dripping off of everything.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Image Gallery For This Session
130mm f5 M101 35x40 7 10 09 a
M101 7 10 09 e M82 55x30 7 9 09
   

130mm_f5.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
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Comments:
On 07/10/09 at 11:31pm Barry wrote:
I would be all for trying that, Neil. I think I will probably have to get another dovetail for the ST80. To mount it to the 130's rings. Other than that, I think I have everything necessary......may need some cables.

Yeh, I am not sure what was up with the drift....hadn't noticed that before.....although I suppose 650mm FL vs. 400mm FL would make some difference. Something must have been off in my alignment.

A few people at the SWS meeting tonight said they were out last night, and it was okay (it was passable early 10:30-11:30), but it got steadily worse the later it got. The sky from my house was almost the color of milk when the moon cleared the trees. I am amazed these shots came out as good as they did. My view is never great, but I haven't seen it so bad in a long time. Plus the dew.....it came out of nowhere, but it was thick.

Curious to see if we could get the webcam functioning as a guide camera.

On 07/10/09 at 05:20pm Neil Heacock wrote:
That's looking like a great setup Barr.

I'd highly suggest an attempt at autoguiding with the ST80 and your webcam just to see if it works. I'd be more the happy to assist with that.

For drift from image to image, I'd say your stars look pretty round and not nearly the egg shape you often get. Particularly in the M101 shot. This is very promising.

-Neil

On 07/10/09 at 11:47am Beth Brence wrote:
Great pics! I like the pic of our baby plum tree and plums too! Wow, it was that wet out? I had no idea.

Me



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