Anton and I went out to the state park, and the observatory was open! There was a Boy Scout event going on. We got out there kind of late, though, because we got distracted playing video games before we left. Once I finally got everything set up, I started imaging the Black Eye Galaxy. I noticed that the collimation wasn’t that great, but didn’t have time to fix it. People were going to leave by 11:30. After a while, I moved to the Iris Nebula, but didn’t get very many before we had to pack up. It was chilly, but the telescope worked well the whole evening. The Black Eye Galaxy is interesting because of the dark dust band near the core (where it gets is name), and because the inner part of the galaxy is rotating one way, while the outer part is rotating the other. It’s thought that it’s a result of a merger of two galaxies a long time ago.
I also took a new set of flats – I did them outside to have a larger light source. I just used ambient light and didn’t aim it toward the sky. They worked out pretty decently. I also marked on all the pieces in the optics train where they’re supposed to line up at.
M64 Black Eye Galaxy, Nikon D3100 on my C11, f/6.3 focal reducer