Bob’s viewing Report: 5th April 2020 – C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

I started the evenings session grabbing some frames of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) with my Takahashi FS-102 and QHY168C OSC Camera.

After successfully acquiring some data of various exposure times I decided to try and grab some data from GingerGeek’s Esprit 120, the weather station was reporting Haze and I could see wisps of clouds on the All Sky Camera so it wasn’t worth spending lots of time gathering data but worth using the opportunity to work out a procedure for chasing comets. As I hadn’t switched Dome profiles I found that the view through the Esprit was partially obscured so I switched to Dave’s 12″ OS only to find that the last thing he’d been doing was collecting Dark frames and the cover was still on the 12″.

I was in the process of switching back to GingerGeeks’s Esprit when Dave ping’d me on WhatsApp to say he’d woken up and remember that he cover was on and did I want it removed … perfect timing !
I managed to grab some frames for comparison with those I’d taken with the Tak earlier in the evening but aborted the sequence as clouds were messing up the results. So decided to try GingerGeek’s Esprit one more time as the clouds appeared to have passed by.

I found I had to create a new Profile for GingerGeek’s Esprit as the only profile available had the ASCOM Telescope Driver for TheSky selected and as Dave had mentioned to me previously, this was not needed when Tracking a Comet as that would be done by the Mount under direct control of TheSky X.

This does create a problem in that with these profiles you cannot Plate Solve and Centre the object as they is no Telescope for SGPro to work with, so we’ll need to figure out how to do that in TheSky X or start the session with the Telescope selected, centre and frame the comet, set the Tracking Rates to the comet then switch to a profile without a Telescope to run the SGPro sequence.

The weather deteriorated and the Wx Stn Auto closed the slit at 01:27 part way through a 15minute exposure.

Another night of good lessons learnt.