This evening really doesn’t qualify as a first light, but I wanted to put something up. I have been moaning and groaning about not getting any skies to get out and try my new camera. A big step from my
My main goal the first night out was to achieve focus and a successful plate solve.
Yesterday was the first clear night since I got the camera on 9/14. We have had a really poor summer here followed by many hurricanes/tropical storms. We are very fortunate that we didn’t suffer any direct hits here, but either sides did suffer great damage. Thank you lord!
Last night was beautiful, but my son was traveling through and spent the night on the way to his next training station (US Navy), so getting outside was way out of the question. Tonight was predicted by all five of my apps to be poor, but it was looking pretty good this afternoon, so I set up.
My goal was get through the focus and plate solve before I really could give the camera a whirl.
I am an
Almost everything is different, from live view, focusing, plate solving, and the fits file format.
Luckily, since I was out last, the evenings are longer. Yes! I did a quick PA with Sharpcap about 7:45 just before astronomical darkness.
Next was focusing. Man, that was a major pia!
Probably because I am unfamiliar with the settings, the liveview update was extremely lagging making it rough to move the focuser and judge the outcome. I was chasing my tail for quite awhile before I switched to imaging mode and started taking 3 second exposures. Worked much better that way. I started the focusing aid in
I thought that my setup with the ED102 and two 2” extensions would put me close, and it did, kinda. I ended up getting a reasonable focus at 7100 steps (AF motor) compared to 4200 with the
I need to fine tune the threshold value given the new setup, but I went ahead anyway and ran an autofocus routine and finished at 7093 steps. Not bad! Stayed with that for now.
Next was plate solving. It took me awhile to initially get the exposure with the
Ahead of the game, I moved to
Started guiding which was not the best at over 1 arcsec/pixel, but I did nothing but start PHD. Imaging was not the goal tonight.
With a 79% illuminated moon, I don’t expect much, but really glad that the initial steps are over, I am playing around with collecting a few images. I cooled the sensor to 0C and here is a stretched ight frame displayed in Kstars.
120 seconds at unity gain )100) with the IDAS LPS D-1 filter.
Man, this target is HUGE compared to what would have been with the
Yes, pretty neat! We will see. The nebula is visible in the stretched frames and the stars are ok. The Crescent will go into the trees soon, but step 1 over!
Thanks for reading!