Viewing report 12th September 2020

21:03 – 05:39

Bob, Dave and GingerGeek playing with the Tak 102 this evening and just image for 2 minutes on various targets.

Slewed to the Double Cluster first.

Focus position was 564 from the last time we used it a long time, it is now 578.

Took a 2 minute exposure

Double Cluster

Slewed to M75 the Little Dumbell. Needed to take a 5 min exposure to see

M76 Little Dumbell

Slewed to M34 Open Cluster.

M34 Open Cluster

Slewed to NGC 1023 a barred spiral galaxy. Took 5mins exposure at 22:12.

NGC 1023 Galaxy

GingerGeek went off to bed whilst Dave and Bob continued.

Slewed to NGC 1260 a lenticular galaxy in Perseus.

NGC 1260 Galaxy

Slewed to NGC 1545 an open cluster but it was behind the house.

Slewed to IC 1848 the Soul nebula.

IC 1848 Soul Nebula

Slewed to Heart nebula.

IC 1805 Heart Nebula

Slewed to IC 1831 an HII cloud.

IC 1831 Nebula

Slewed to IC 1795 nebula.

IC 1795 Nebula

We found at this point that some of the images were trailing at 2 minutes in the East so we started to use guiding.

Slewed to NGC 1245 open cluster. [not imaged]

Slewed to NGC 1220 open cluster. [not imaged]

Slewed to NGC 1528 open cluster at 23:37

NGC 1528

Dave went off to bed whilst Bob continued.

Slewed to IC 1795 Nebula.

IC 1795 Nebula

Slewed to IC 1831 Nebula.

IC 1831 Nebula

Bob then slewed back to a number of the objects as they had trailed including, IC 1805 Heart Nebula, IC1848 Soul Nebula, IC 1260, NGC 1023 barred spiral, M34, M76, Double Cluster

Mars at 1:47am

Mars

Slewed to M31

M31 / M32 and M110

Slewed to M52

M52 Open Cluster and Bubble Nebula

Slewed to NGC 457

NGC 457 Open Cluster

Slewed to IC 1590

IC 1590 Nebula

Slewed to NGC 7789

NGC 7789 Open Cluster

Slewed to NGC 129

NGC 129 Open Cluster

Slewed to NGC 225

NGC 225

Slewed to IC59

IC 59 Nebula

Slewed to IC83 [no image]

Bob completed imaging at 05:39am

Viewing Report 25th May 2020 – Travel Setup

19:00 – 05:00

Alan and I

So back off to Combe Gibbet again tonight for hopefully a full night until dawn and with a coat. I met with my friend Alan for once again some social distancing astronomy. Again Alan had a much better 4×4 car to get up to the gibbet than my little electric Nissan Leaf, however once again I managed to make it there.

Sunsetting with Esprit 120 and Alan in his chair

After setting up, it quickly became apparent that I forgot the guide camera as it was still attached to the Mak180 that I thought I would leave at home tonight ?

Quick look and focus on the Moon

So despite the slight setback I polar aligned on the uneven ground and managed to get the scope pointing in the right direction. It took me a while to work out why it was not pointing at the objects when slewing with a perfect alignment, then I realised I had the location set incorrectly. A quick look at my GPS on my phone and I input the coordinates into The SkyX and the target was nearly spot on. I adjusted, performed a sync and then was able to slew continuously thought the night with the object in the FoV.

As I was challenged with no guider I could only take 2 minute images and if in the West low down then 1min. So I stetted for those 2 exposures along with 30 seconds for one particular object.

Below are the lost of targets I went after and imaged. I tried to get 15-20 minutes in total for each. We had some early night high cloud, the wind had again dyed down after sunset and although cold, we were both wrapped up warm, although later in the night Alan became cold so wrapped himself up in the dog blanket from the car ?

First up was M44 Beehive Open Cluster, which filled the view nicely so I took 20 x 60 seconds, careful not to saturate the stars. The QHY168C camera was set to Gain 7 and Offset 30 with a temperature of -20℃.

M44 60s

I then tried SH2-129 emission nebula but no luck, it was not registering at all at such short an exposure. I had a similar issue with SH2-155 Cave nebula. Both of these I will try again when I have my guider.

I then slewed to NGC 6888 Crescent nebula and took 20 subs of 120 seconds.

NGC 6888 Crescent 120s

Next tried to image Trio in Leo M65, M66 and the NGC but I realised I had already imaged, although not processed and the image trailed at 1 minute due to its westerly location. So instead I headed for NGC 7243, a lovely Open Cluster in Lacerta and part of the Herschel 400 at 60 second exposure.

NGC 7243

Next I looked at the double cluster in Perseus and decided to quickly take a few images with the Esprit 120 ED even though it was not on my original target list. Due to its bright stars I took 40 x 30 seconds.

Doublers Cluster in Perseus

Now it was time to grab an image of Comet c/2017 T2 PANSTARRS which was located near a galaxy called the Coddington Nebula. I purposely got the comet at the very edge of the frame to get the galaxy in, although I noticed the tail was pointing in the opposite direction than shown on Sky Safari.

Comet C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS and Coddington Nebula

The night wass really dark, even though it is not true astronomical darkness, the location really helps. The image quality is also much better. I slewed to NGC 7000 the North American nebula that Alan was also imaging. Again 60 seconds was probably not long enough so I need to come back to this object when I get my guide camera fitted.

NGC 7000 North American Nebula 60s

Finally just as dawn was approaching and the light was clearly increasing, I took a few images of Comet C/2020 F8 SWAN to see if I could see it. Was was apparent was it was super faint even at 60 seconds !

Comet C/2020 F8 SWAN

So as dawn approached, Alan and I took flats, darks and flat darks.

During the night we viewed through the 4″ binoculars the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Double cluster, M39 Open cluster, M57 Ring Nebula, Alberio, M56 Globular Cluster, Saturn and Jupiter. Unfortunately I packed up the binoculars before I remembered Mars was up ! So packed up the car, ands drove very tired 50 minutes home.