It looked like it might be clear, so I decided to head out and give it a shot. I was at my friend Chelsea’s house before, and I got sidetracked talking, so I didn’t get out until about 8 PM. The moon was less than a quarter, waxing, but still relatively high in the west and was bright enough that I had moonshadows. However, I couldn’t find anything in the eastern sky to image with the memorial scope (too large of an FOV for many of the small galaxies that winter is good for), so I decided to do at least a high-altitude object – the Flaming Star Nebula. It had crossed the meridian already, but the memorial scope doesn’t meridian-flip at the meridian – it goes like waaay past it. So after about four images, while I was inside reading, it stopped tracking at its limit, and I lost about six images or so because I got held up in conversation on Facebook Messenger. So I went back out and did the flip, but the star field in the picture was not quite the same as before. I re-synced; same thing. But I couldn’t quite see the nebula in the subs, at least not on my small tablet with the red filter on, so I just went for it anyway, thinking my tired Friday night brain wasn’t flipping the image right in my head. Well, I was right – it didn’t quite land on the same star field, and some high clouds came in, and guiding didn’t work that well, so I only had four pictures. I stacked them, but the SNR was just too low to do much with it.
Flaming Star Nebula, Nikon D5300, Vixen NA140ssf, Astronomik CLS filter
Guiding: QHY5 on Celestron 102mm
Also, I forgot to take biases again, so I took them at home where it was warmer, but I took the wrong ISO. I also didn’t have cold enough darks – it was like 28 F that night. 30 is close. Oh well, anyways…hopefully I can image it again soon!