With weather looking wet and wild for the 2019 Cherry Springs Star Party and things looking slightly less soggy at Calhoun we decided to cancel on Cherry Springs and gamble on Calhoun. Good thing we were setup on the top of a ridge so we never had to deal with muddy conditions considering all the rain we didn’t know was coming.
Getting ready for the eclipse and testing one of the imaging setups today. Took a single DSLR shot of a couple sunspots. Sun spot 2648 is on the left, 2645 is the most prominent group closer to center, with 2644 on the right.
NGC 206 is the brightest star cloud in the arms of the Andromeda Galaxy visible to us here on Earth. You often see M31 imaged wide field but there is a wealth of detail to be found in the star clouds and dust lanes that start to pop out with a little more focal length. Taken late last year from my back yard.
Just getting around to publishing some pictures from the 2016 Black Forest Star Party at Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. What a great stretch of weather for PA! The nights weren’t the darkest or most transparent (SQM 21.4-21.5) nights I’ve had at CSSP but clear and a little murky was way better than the alternative after driving up from Knoxville TN. Had a great time with some old friends and good to see some old club members too.
Had a few imaging problems related to dithering and settle time / settle criteria that made me lose a fair number of shots but I got two images which, I have to be honest, I’m not real pleased with. They are however, more challenging objects, but would have come out better had the sky conditions been closer to the SQM 21.8 that I’ve seen before at CSSP. But, we take whatever quality of clear sky we can get during a pre-planned star party!
While playing with the telescope setup this afternoon I thought I’d take a quick shot at the massive sunspot (AR2529) that everybody has been talking about lately. I also grabbed a quick shot of sunspot AR2532 as well.
Taken 12/5/2015 from Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina. Sky quality was a little hazy early on and deteriorated by morning. SQM readings started around 21.1 and topped out around 21.2 mag/arcsec^2. This has always been a favorite object but I have always struggled processing it. It’s dim, it’s difficult, it always seems soft…. I’d prefer to shoot these dark dusty nebula from a darker site and if I ever get the chance I’ll be coming back to this object.
It ended up being a gorgeous night at Norris. The MW was clearly visible and seeing looked reasonably good just based on the naked eye twinkle criteria.
I was able to gather a paltry 3x20min of O[III] and 2x20min of S[II] data on M8 (The Lagoon Nebula) to complete a tricolor Hubble Pallet image before it moved behind a tree….
The night started off hazy with a big halo around the 68.5% illuminated waxing moon. I wasn’t that optimistic about the high thin stuff clearing out so I threw the Lumenera monochrome high frame rate planetary camera on the scope instead of the usual deep sky camera and trained the scope on the moon for the public. I added a wireless game-pad so they could drive the mount around and check out different parts of the moon on their own and hopefully add to their enjoyment. After most of the guests had left I took a few videos and stacked them. Unfortunately, the laptop is not setup for planetary imaging; hard drive space is very limited on the small SSD and I had to move each AVI to a flash drive as I took them…
Luckily, it cleared up and the high thin stuff dissipated. I grabbed the deep sky camera and got to work on M16, The Eagle Nebuka, in Sagittarius.