Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), NGC2684 Galaxy
Posted: 6 April 2013
The observatory was opened Friday, 5 April 2013, at 1819 MST, 82°F. The sky was mostly clear, but there were some clouds low in the western sky. I delayed opening the dome due to a strong breeze that was blowing 30 minutes before sunset. I opened the dome at 1851 MST and powered on the 8" LX200-ACF. At 1853 MST, viewed Jupiter, 77X; four moons were visible.
At 1930 MST, slewed to the star Capella, which would be my focus test star. Mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus using the off-axis guider. After doing a focus test image with the Bahtinov Mask, I connected my iPhone 4 to the telescope using the SkyWire serial cable. I then used SkySafari Pro to GOTO Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), still a very small and faint comet. I located a good guide star and at 2000 MST I did a 10 minute, ISO 6400, guided exposure. I did another 10 minute exposure at 2030 MST. The comet motion (at center) is easily seen in this cropped animated image:
This is the image captured at 2030 MST, with a magnified view of the comet in the inset. The comet tail is clearly visible.
While I was imaging the comet, clouds had arrived at Orion in the southwestern sky. Fortunately, they were not in the northern sky where I would be imaging my next target, NGC2684 galaxy (small, faint). I found a good guide star and did this (cropped) 5 minute, ISO 6400, guided image:
When I completed imaging of NGC2684, the clouds were now in most of the southwestern quandrant of the sky. Slewed to NGC4244 galaxy to re-do the image I had acquired on 2 April, which was trailed due to a poor guide star selection. This time I found a better guide star but framing was not very good. Unfortunately, clouds were approaching that area of the sky so I decided to take the shot anyway. This is the full-frame, guided, 5 minute, ISO 6400 image:
Will try again on the next session.
At 2111 MST, the clouds were now in most of the western half of the sky. I decided to defer the rest of my planned imaging to another session and call it a night.
The observatory was closed at 2135 MST, 61°F.
I'm checking out two newly received products: a Wi-Fi adapter for GOTO telescopes, and a new star diagonal and 2" eyepiece. I'll report on them soon.
Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.
Go to the previous report.
Return to the Cassiopeia Observatory Home Page.