Viewing time period – 21:20 – 01:11
This evening started with the Moon high in the sky and waxing its way to half. Next to it Saturn sat, close in fact, so close I pointed the scope at it, around 22:30 and both the Moon and Saturn fit in the same field of view 🙂
So I took a few exposures, worried that either the Moon would be overexposed or Saturn underexposed. I settled on 0.001s and took a bunch of shots. Below is my setup by the light of my rather bright head torch, turned on only for this photo I might add.
Next it was back to trying to resolve the guiding issues that had troubled me the night before. The good news was Tom from the Software Bisque website (not the Tom Bisque, another Tom) had come back with a few suggestions and questions that made me think. I had a good set of guide stars to choose from.
The autoguide Setup window is where I would spend most of my time I was sure, changing parameters.
I recalibrated the mount, this time using 100arcsec as the parameter. The previous calibration run produced a rather short cross.
This gave me a better ‘cross’ and I think should improve the guiding, although I am still skeptical about just how quick it calibrates, some 4-5 seconds.
Back to guiding the mount was still all over the place, I am convinced it is overcorrecting, on the basis if I don’t guide I get better stars up to 45s or so. I added in a much longer settle period and this seemed to help, but still the graph is a long way from the sort of guiding I was getting before they updated the software.
The wind was a bit gusty tonight as last night and for sure this was not helping, you can tell from a few exposures it was wind related jumps and drifting
I sat back after a while of changing different settings feeling that it was not improving, so I took a whole bunch of images, only 90s of the Sharpless object Trevor had mentioned, SH2-101 which is called the Tulip nebula. Trevor had produced a lovely image from his 14″ in the UK so I thought I would have a quick go, knowing most of the frames would be lost.
So by 00:30 I decided to start to pack up, the wind had picked up, I was cold, the guiding was still a problem, so by just gone 1am I was heading down the mountain, some 1 hour and 20min drive! The final view from the bridge as it were was this.
The next day I processed the data for the Sharpless object and it was ok, given the short amount of data. One for the 12″ I think.
Meanwhile I processed a single image of the Moon and Saturn and was pleased with the result as seen above. Here is a version with Saturn as an insert.