Sunday, January 12, 2020

#274 - Saturday, January 11, 2020

Before making dinner and then heading out to the Eastbay Astronomical Society meeting, I got my scopes setup -- my Takahashi FSQ-106N on my Paramount MyT, with my ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera and Astronomik H-alpha filter, as well as my recently-built astro camera rig, my ZWO ASI294MC Pro with my Nikon 70-300mm lens and the Astronomik CLS-CCD filter, all loaded onto my Celestron AVX mount.  In addition, since I had two rigs running, I thought it might be fun to do another timelapse, so I set up one of my DSLRs on a tripod to do that.

While at the meeting, I remoted into my data acquisition machine to make sure everything got started up smoothly -- and it did indeed!  So satisfying when things just work :D

Tracking on the AVX was looking good.  On the Paramount, I couldn't remember if I had re-calibrated guiding in PHD after re-building the mount after going home for Christmas.  Since I left my guide camera and guide scope attached to the main telescope the whole time, I shouldn't have to re-calibrate, but you never know when things get knocked a little off-kilter.  So I re-calibrated it anyway.

I went through the frames in the morning -- a few sets of thin clouds had rolled through periodically, but I still got quite a few frames over the course of the night.  One of my Orion constellation widefield frames through the camera lens had some satellites pass through -- one was a really bright, single streak, although I couldn't find it in SkySafari or Heavens Above.  Another was actually two side-by-side, and with one tumbling (you can tell it's tumbling because the light is brighter and dimmer across the frame).  I couldn't identify what they were either; potentially a tumbling rocket body.

Given how bright this one is, it's very possible that it's actually an airplane, but at a high enough altitude that you can only see one streak.

You'll have to ignore the fact that the streaks are red -- these are non-color-corrected screenshots from the raw image file.

And here's the timelapse!

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