Viewing Report 11th July 2020 – IMT3

21:00 – 01:55

GingerGeek and I decided to go after M57 the planetary nebula in Lyra. I had seen a lovely photo on Flickr with the outer Ha/OIII halo showing which resembled a splat of paint, taken with 9 x 1200 seconds Ha, 3 x 1200 seconds OIII and 9 x 600 seconds luminance. So we decided to go try. It would also add to my ongoing collection of Messier objects.

M57 in OIII

The resulting image of M57 was rather small as can be seen above. We initially set an autofocus run on Ha which came in at 67,213. We then focused on OIII at 67,178. After a few frames we noticed that the focus point had shifted ever-so, thus we refocused at 23:33 for OIII and to a position of 63,610.

The OIII focus exposure length was 20 seconds on a magnitude 4 star which completed very nicely. By the time we had gathered OIII for 9 x 600 seconds the clouds rolled in. We took Flats. GingerGeek ran the whole session remotely whilst I directed 🙂

Viewing Report 22nd/23rd October 2019 – IMT3 Observatory

Viewing time period – 21:38 – 01:50

Quick set of images this evening to take some more data of M76. I can image for 3 hours before a meridian flip. I need to get the automated flip working and thus the plate solving that seems to be having issues. For now I will open the dome and just set it running on OIII through the 12″.

After entering with TSX connected to the ASI camera I started guiding and for setup reasons I have included the guide star here.

Guide Star

@00:45 I managed to do the manual meridian flip and then headed off to be after collecting another 2 hours of OIII data. I left the scope running for the rest of the night knowing that the dome would shut if the sky clouded up.

Last image taken

So I am now up at 7am and indeed the dome closed when the clouds rolled in. I have no real notification of when that occurred so I have now set the HitecWeather station software to log on the triggering of the relay to a file so I can see the time it closed.

This will allow me to compare to the Keogram from the ASC and double check the dome is closing at the appropriate time.

Fortunately SGPro is connected to the weather station as a safety monitor and stops imaging if the dome closes. I can see the clouds started to roll in around 1:30am for a few minutes then just before 2pm there were more and by 2:43am after they covered the sky. The good thing is it looks like, although I cannot be sure, the dome would have closed at around 1:50am which is the time of the last image taken assuming the date stamp is the completion of the image.

Safety enabled

I have now taken flats and darks and parked the scope and it is ready for it’s next outing, I also remembered to turn the dehumidifier back on this time. Both the dehumidifier and the flat panel need connecting to an Arduino to automate turning on and off.

View from cameras when in position to flat panel on 12″

Almost Completed

So another day spent with Dave and Bob just finishing off the finishing touches to the scope/mount installation whilst Dave messed about pretending to be a brickie and spent lots of time not actually doing any brick work so we think he may now be qualified.

We spent some time tidying up cabling and testing a low light camera for use in the dome at night so we can see what the mount and dome are actually doing.

Now the Chroma Ha and OIII 3nm filters are now installed into the SX filter wheel the only things that remains is to wait for the delivery of a cable (FTDI) to connect to the Optec Flip Flat panel.

Obviously the next bit is working out if the reducer to CCD spacing for the 3rd scope is correct and work out the focuser backlash so we can correctly use SGPro focus offsets for the filters.