Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back To Imaging for a Bit; The Nebraska Star Party Nears

My wife got a new desktop computer after the 4th of July, and that translated into more than a week of transition from old computer to new. Because she didn't get a new monitor our ancient flat panel monitor was pressed into service so that she could run both computers at the same time. And because it was the monitor on my meteor-detecting computer, that activity was put on hold for the duration.

Luckily we just had a very nice run of third quarter moon clear nights. I was able to get out for two out of the three nights and tested the setup intended for the Nebraska Star Party. This year I'm not chasing any astronomical league program certificates so I'm keeping it simple: Big mount, DSLR, and short lenses.

From my second night out, here's an example:

It's the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae. This is a 200mm f/5.6 image based on only 10 4-minute light frames (ISO 800) and it gets reasonably deep.  This was taken at a light pollution yellow-green transition zone site; I'd like to try this again at NSP to see how much the difference in sky brightness affects the outcome.

Another target will be the Rho Ophiuci area and the dark lanes to its east. And, if there are enough clear hours, some of the dark nebulae that dot the area.  I may even try some super wide fields!

The weather at Valentine has been on the warm side, with some daily highs in the 100 to 105 degree range. The forecast for the first Sunday is much nicer at this point--A high of only 87, and a partly cloudy night with a pleasant low of 60. Monday's high is forecast to be only 88! It doesn't get much better than this.

The rest of this week is NSP preparation. No more imaging until then!

1 comment:

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