Orion 60mm Guide Scope – First Light

First light with the Orion 60mm guide scope, NGC 1502 in the background. Got good results with the first light images using my Meade 12” LX90 and Antares f/6.3 focal reducer. The Orion 60mm has a focal length of 240mm and a focal ratio of f/4. As you can see from the 2-second guide images, it does a good job of displaying what you are imaging. Received a few messages from PHD2 about the “initial calibration too far from the equator”, thoughts? That’s a new one for me – any thoughts? I did get good results last night despite the warning message.

PHD2 Guiding Graph

Clear skies!

…Tom

Open Cluster NGC 1444 in Perseus

Just happened to select this small open cluster in between some longer imaging sessions. The cluster showed up pretty well with a single 60-second exposure, so only collected 8-minutes total. The cluster is dominated with magnitude 11-13 stars, not very impressive. The cluster is centered around a 6.7 magnitude star designated HD 23675 (a binary star). I actually see three stars in this system at magnitudes 12 and 9.9 (see inset). From the material I found, this star appears to be in front of the actual cluster and not part of it.

Open Cluster NGC 1444 in Perseus

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 8 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames, guided using a Canon 100mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: November 21, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Clear skies!

…Tom

Edge-On Spiral Galaxy NGC 891 in Andromeda

The edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 891 (in the constellation Andromeda) is what many think our own Milky Way Galaxy would look like if viewed from the edge. This galaxy is about 30 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda and was discovered by William Herschel on October 6, 1784.

Edge-On Spiral Galaxy NGC 891 in Andromeda

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 30 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames, guided using a Canon 400mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: November 24, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Clear skies!

…Tom

Cooper’s Hawk – December 2017

With the first blanket of snowfall in the backyard, I made sure there were plenty of mixed seeds out for the Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue Jay’s, and others that will be hanging out this winter. After a loud jeering call from a Blue Jay, I spotted a hawk making a dive at the feeders, a near miss. He perched in a nearby tree waiting for another attempt. This is the Cooper’s Hawk, found widely in North America and experts at grabbing a quick meal from a nearby bird feeder (not seeds mind you).

Cooper’s Hawk – December 2017

Tech Specs: Canon T4i, Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens + 2x III, ISO 800, 1/800, f/5.6, 380 mm. Location: Weatherly, Pennsylvania, USA. Image date: December 10, 2017.

…Tom

Perseus Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884)

Here is a view of the famous double cluster in the constellation Perseus (between Perseus and Cassiopeia), they are also designated NGC 869 and NGC 884. This is a four panel mosaic, each panel consisting of 10 minutes exposure time. Flares and star spikes were added in post processing.

Perseus Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884)

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 10 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames for all frames, guided using a Canon 400mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: December 6, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Clear skies!

…Tom

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