Saturday night was the first night in quite some time that I set up my full EAA rig running off of 12 volt power. I encountered several issues ranging from Windows 10 updates, other software license issues and my battery monitor/relay device. After troubleshooting, I was able to get some observing accomplished.
Large trees obscuring my southern horizon and the rising moon in the east limited the objects I could observe. M57 The Ring Nebula was well placed in the skies under my driveway and my first target for the night. I spent quite amount of time experimenting with various settings in SharpCap (the software that controls my camera and captures the images. The image specifications for my capture of M57 are as follows: Gain of 300, Exposure 15 seconds, 28 frames (total exposure of 420 seconds), camera temp -17.7° C, dark frames subtracted.
Finally, Jupiter had moved in the part of the southwest sky that is not blocked by trees or houses. I’m attempting to take individual frames and stack them into a movie. I’ll post the results at a later time
I lost power to my rig (the battery monitor relay sent a low voltage signal and cut power). I had re-align my mount. One great feature with Celestron’s new computer control software for their mounts (CPWI – Celestron PlaneWave Instruments) is the ability to save your alignment and mount’s pointing model I all had to do was return the scope to the home position (level and pointing north) then sync on 1 alignment star.
My next target was M13 The Hercules Globular Cluster. The image specifications for my capture of M13 are as follows: Gain of 300, Exposure 10 seconds, 41 frames (total exposure of 410 seconds), camera temp -10.1° C, dark frames subtracted.
It was getting to be almost 1am and the clouds were becoming troublesome. My last well placed target was M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. The image specifications for my capture of M27 are as follows: Gain of 300, Exposure 10 seconds, 44 frames (total exposure of 440 seconds), camera temp -10.0° C, dark frames subtracted.
I hibernated my scope in the hopes of observing again during this extended/holiday weekend….fingers crossed!
(also posted on my AstroNerd Facebook page)