Thursday, October 10, 2019

#228 - Monday, October 7, 2019 - Focus Pocus

Who needs city light pollution when you have the moon??  Pesky thing is slowing my astrophotography efforts!  It wasn't going to set until 1:15 AM, so I took my time getting outside and set up.

Well, since it was up, I went ahead and imaged it...

Date: 7 October 2019
UTC: 8 October 2019, 05:44
Location: East Bay area, CA
Object: Moon
Attempt: 28
Camera: ZWO ASI1600MM Pro
Telescope: Takahashi FSQ-106N
Accessories: Astronomik H-alpha T2 filter
Mount: Celestron AVX
Frames: 1430/2010
FPS: 5 fps
Exposure:10 ms
ISO/Gain: 139
Stacking program: RegiStax 6

All right, I suppose it is kind of pretty...

I updated the imaging sequence to not start until 12:30 AM.  As I was getting gear connected, I noticed that the guide camera could see some stars from the home position.  I wondered if it might be enough to do a "real" polar alignment with SharpCap instead of Celestron's All-Star Polar Alignment, which I'm not completely sold on.  (I put "real" in quotes because I'm still not 100% sure about SharpCap's either).  I rotated the RA axis 90 degrees, which I would need to do for part of the procedure, and I saw fewer, but still a couple of stars (different angle through my plum tree, looking at the same patch of sky).  I popped over to SharpCap to see what the main imaging camera could see.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough stars so do polar alignment, at least not through the H-alpha filter (which I didn't feel like taking off and re-focusing).  Darn!  Maybe in the winter when the leaves are gone.  If the leaves fall here.  Do they fall here??

Once everything was ready to roll, I headed off to bed.  In the morning, I pulled down the frames, and to my dismay, the focus drifted enough with temperature that they were all bad!  Into the recycle bin they go.  I've emailed Technical Innovations about the Robofocus not working, but they haven't gotten back to me yet.  Hopefully they will soon...I'd love to fix one rather than have to buy one!

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