Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three More for the ALBN and What was Lost is Now Found

LBN 140 was something I unsuccessfully tried to image from my red zone back yard using Ha. At NSP I gave it a try because the last night it was sitting in an area that still had good transparency. The first luminance frame showed some hints of nebulosity, so I continued on and collected more.

LBN 140
Getting this was a real bonus as it has a brightness of 6 on Lynds scale. A big thank you to the dark sky of NSP!

Two objects that I tried to image at the 2015 Nebraska Star Party didn't come out thanks to a really annoying line of clouds that slowly slid over them. Luckily, the one clear night at Jeffers allowed me to go after them again. These were IC 4812 and NGC 6729, luminous parts of a larger patch of nebulosity:

IC 4812 and NGC 6729
This would have been better in the AT65, but I decided to stay with the 200mm lens.

With these two I end up at 103, three more than needed.

Still to be processed is a 200mm field LRGB image of the Lagoon/Trifid area.

Now for something strange. At NSP 2014 I lost my mount's counterweight shaft end bolt, the thing that keeps counterweights from accidentally sliding off and crushing your foot. You know, this thing:

The lost bolt, now found

The bolt can easily be replaced by a bolt and washer (google and you'll see a lot of images of replacements), but it has the same specs as the bolt on my old CG5 mount, so I used that one as a replacement. However, knowing that I'd be going back to NSP again this year I began to entertain a notion that I might find my lost bolt. I know, NSP is a big place in which to find such a small thing, they don't mow the observing fields all that short, and there's been a year for it to get trampled, corroded, covered with dirt, or otherwise abused and knocked around. A bird might have decided to carry off the shiny thing. Realistically, chances of finding it were slim.

Maybe it was the small chance of finding the bolt that compelled me to look for it. Or maybe I just really hate losing things. So I set up camp as close to where I was last year as I could remember, put up my tent and set out my mount and observing table in the same relative positions. Of course I immediately searched the area under the mount and table with great expectation. Okay, that was unrealistic.

I began a not very methodical search extending outward from the mount and within a minute saw the bolt gleaming up at me, oriented as in the above picture, shining like a tiny mirror reflecting sunlight. It was only about ten feet away from this year's placement of the mount.

Had it been cloudy or I had been farther off in my positioning I might not have seen it.

As you can see in the image above, it picked up a little rust on the threads during its year of idle time in the wilds of Nebraska. Otherwise it's fine.

This year--so far as I know--I left nothing behind at NSP. But I think I'll go back again next year anyway.

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