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Murphy's night off

Started by maurice clark, 08/12/2002 04:50PM
Posted 08/12/2002 04:50PM Opening Post
My new autogiuder (at to me!) arrived and believe it or not but the skies were clear!!!!! For 3 nights running!!!!!!!! Almost unheard of!

The last of the nights was Saturday night and that was the best of all. The limiting magnitude was 6.2 which is as dark as I have seen it from here. (Northfield MN) M31 was the easiest I have seen it with the naked eye since I arrived in the US. The autoguider worked well, which enabled me to just set the camera going and walk away for 45 minutes. Unfortunately the light pollution around campus meant that this was too long exposure. Even for 200 ASA speed film. Next time the weather clears I will have to cut back to about 20 minutes. At my previous location, 45 minutes would still show black sky background on 400 ASA speed flim.

Observed and photographed numerous objects but I will only mention a couple.

Comet Hoenig was very nice in my 10". Quite a bit brighter with more of a condensation in the coma. There was also the hint of a very faint tail visible. This is definately getting better as it approaches perihelion.

Managed to get my first observation of the other bright comet in the morning sky, 2002O6. It was a very bright and easy object, despite having to wait until bright twilight for it to rise over some trees. Very well condensed coma with a faint tail.

As well as visual observation and photography, I was also doing some CCD imaging. The photograph below shows my observing setup. The 2 8" LX200's belong to the college. I use them for CCD imaging, mostly of asteroids. On the right is my 5" f/5 refractor with 3" guidescope. This is the scope I use for photography. The big scope is my 10" dob. This is my scope for visual observing. Needless to say, I am kept quite busy operating 4 scopes at once. Daylight comes all too soon! My wife thinks I am getting a little obsessed!!!



PS I will post CCD images of these comets on the CCD forum.

Attached Image:

maurice clark's attachment for post 1235

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Posted 08/12/2002 05:00PM #1
What exactly is an Auto guider? Does it require perfect polar alignment to use? Is it expensiver? Where can i get one? Im in to film astrophotography and have found that i cant Polar align very well so i have to manuelly guide which is very hard sometimes and even then some pictures dont come out very well.

Posted 08/13/2002 01:33AM #2

I have great difficulty in comprehending the view that you are - quote - "getting a little obsessed" ... in the photo you have supplied I can count FOUR piers which don't even have a telescope on them ... I can only conclude that you are showing remarkable restraint.

Anthony 41*S 175*E

PS what's in the dome?