Tuesday, January 31, 2012

M42 Again

Here is another pic of M42 taken on January 30, 2012 with the 14 inch scope.  The weather was very windy, so I was only able to use four images in the stack.  Exposure time was 15 seconds per image at 1600 ISO.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


With the 14 now on the wedge, I decided to do some experimentation with imaging.  My polar alignment was not precise and the scope has not been trained for polar mode operation.  However, I thought I would try a few exposures to see if the wedge had mitigated the field rotation I was getting in ALT/AZ mode.  As cloud was rolling in, I didn't have much time to get pix, so the focus is very rough and processing is very basic (no darks or flats).  The Great Nebula in Orion (M42) was entangled in tree branches, but I took the following image, which is a stack of six 40-second exposures.  The Trapezium can be clearly seen in the center, and some color in the nebula itself.  Although the focus is a little off, the main thing about this image is that there is no evidence of field rotation.  I look forward to taking some longer exposure images when the weather permits.

Wolf Moon

January 9 was a full moon.  Like all full moons, it has a name.  This one is called the Wolf Moon.  It looked dramatic with the light haze in the sky.  I took this pic from my deck.  If you look closely at the full size version, you can see Jupiter in the trees to the right.  You can also see why I cannot put an observatory in my back yard...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

14 inch on the wedge

Finally, the 14 is on the wedge!  It was a 5-man lift, but we finally got the job done on Christmas Day.  Tonight looks like it might be first clear night when the weather is above freezing, so I hope do some aligning.