Wednesday, October 16, 2019

#231 - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - Just Another Night

After a couple of cloudy nights (gasp!), I was back at the ol' routine of plugging in the tablet, pulling off the cover, waking up the mount, opening PHD and Sequence Generator Pro, and hitting Go...just another night of my camera collecting photons while I collected z's!

I copied the data over in the morning over breakfast as I always do, but saw that there were some problems still.  When it started on M31 Andromeda Galaxy, it needed to go over from east of the meridian to west (the issue I was having with the mount "jumping" around before on the western half of the sky has been fixed -- it would appear that my cable bundle was potentially pulling on the dec cable a little bit on that side, causing it to slightly unseat.  I adjusted the cable position, and when I remember, I'm going to tape down the dec cable).  However, it was clear that it was hitting my self-imposed slew limit of 5 degrees, since every image was just a long star streak.  I wondered if it wasn't actually flipping, but was trying to reach it from the east side?  I don't have a way to tell.  SGP doesn't store side-of-pier in the FITS header.

In addition, Takahashi refractors, for all of their glory and image perfection, are pretty unstable in holding focus with temperature changes, so I hear.  Well now I know -- my focus is always slightly out by the morning (and back to perfection the following evening).  Sometimes it doesn't go out too much, and sometimes it is too out-of-focus for me to keep the images.  Thus was the case for the Rosette Nebula images in the morning.  Oh well.  I also had some thin clouds roll through -- it's easy to tell using PixInsight's Blink process, since the images will appear a lot brighter than the rest (it sets the stretch settings based on the first image).

Keep on keepin' on!

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