Despite a nearly full moon lighting up the landscape and the sky haze, I thought I would try to get at least a couple of hours of M27......a favorite object. To make matters worse, it was only about 40 degrees away from the moon. As it turned out, all would have been well had I not positioned my scope where I did.
Tracking was nearly spot on (see attached screen shot of guiding graph). I don't think guiding ever deviated more than a pixel, and most of the time less. Apparently I picked a good guide star, and my setup was well polar aligned.
The bad news: 13 frames into a 45 frame sequence, a tree suddenly jumped into the field of view. By this time, it was nearing 2am. Then my mount came unplugged. I decided to call it a night at that point, so I ended up with only 13 useable 3 minute frames. The only thing I am totally unhappy with is the quality of the object. The stars look pretty good, but the object is slightly fuzzy.....apparently seeing was not great or I was very slightly off focus....or the focuser moved slightly....I don't think I remembered to lock it down. Other than that, I am not too displeased, considering the circumstances.
It figures, on a night when tracking and guiding are near flawless, I forget about a tree. Still it was not a bad evening. Neil stopped by and we had a good time talking shop!
Equipment: 6" f/5 imaging Newtonian, ST80 refractor guide scope, CG5 mount, Starshoot II guide camera, Canon 350D @ ISO 800.
Software: Nebulosity, Deep Sky Stacker, PHD Guiding, Photo Shop CS
13 x 180 seconds @ ISO 800 (cropped very slightly around the edges)