Viewing Report 27th/28th October 2019 – IMT3 Observatory

Viewing time period – 19:01 – 00:05

GingerGeek and I tried to sort a few things last night, namely PHD2 guiding on both sides of the mount without any recalibration, automated meridian flip within SGPro, focusing and plate solving. After nearly 2 hours we had not fixed any of these problems. So we need further research/reading to resolve.

Instead @9pm I decided to take some more images of M76 since it was due to be fairly clear all night. What I found was this was quite simple to now setup and get working as long as I did not mind performing a manual flip at 11:30pm.

There was one other issue last night which was around the dome closing, it suddenly did this around 10pm, not sure why, I think (I now in the light of day cannot be sure) the relay went off. Looking at the Keogram and then the ASC movie for last night it does coincide with a set of cloud going over so maybe that is why it closed. It will be nice to then get it to reopen when clear, another thing to fix at some point.

So as I say, setting up for the run was straightforward and I used TSX rather than SGPro to centre and platesolve M76 as normal. I then took a sample image of 60 seconds found that the focus was more or less spot on for OIII, despite earlier challenges with focus not working and all was ready to go.

On the point of focus problems, we could not get an accurate V-Curve earlier in the evening, SGPro kept coming up with different focus points after each run and eventually we put this down to the dome and scope not having had time to cool given it only being 30 minutes or so. The outside temperature was around 3℃ whilst the inside was just shy of 9℃. Later in the evening the difference was much smaller (I should remember to record this). I can get the ambient temp for the outside the next day from the FITS header but I have no record of the inside ambient temp, something else to fix.

So I went off to bed just after the meridian flip around 11:30pm and after watching a few frames come down. This morning I took flats and darks and closed the dome which was still open with the first frost of the season having set in and frost was covering the inside of the dome.