Saturday, February 6, 2016

#22 - Saturday, February 6, 2016 - I Have the Best Uncle Ever

[Well, at long last, I finally joined the local astronomy club!]
I went to a potluck at this observatory that's hidden back in the trees at the state park, my first event with local astronomy club, which I’ve recently joined.  What a great group of people!  The yard out front of the observatory is surrounded by trees, but they’re not *too* high.  The main advantage is being able to hang out in the “warm room” and eat snacks and talk to people while imaging is going.  I just went out every 20 minutes to check on the drift and adjust accordingly.  I had a blast.  I decided to go for Andromeda again.   It still didn’t turn out very well.  I got 91 good frames for a total of 30m (I let DSS choose the best 90%), but only at ISO-3200 (should have done 6400). [Note: Don't do ISO-6400, it adds too much noise!]  Andromeda #6:

M31 Andromeda Galaxy, Nikon D3100 on my C8.
91x20s, ISO-3200

While there, I got a Facebook message from my Uncle Chris.  [I'll spare you] the full details and ecstatic emotion, but basically he said he was going to give me his current telescope, which replacing with the $10,000 Meade LX850!  It’s the Celestron CGE1100, which is a computerized German equatorial mount (CGEM) and 11” Schmidt-Cassegrain f/10 telescope!  I smile a lot, but haven’t smiled quite that big in a while.  Anyways, my astrophotos are about to step into the big leagues!  Get ready, world!  

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