Comet Pan-STARRS April 1 to April 6, 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS Early Morning, April 1 to April 6, 2013.

As of this writing, this is what we have in store for Comet Pan-STARRS down here in southern Louisiana.   Its evening viewing period is almost totally dominated by twilight, so the morning part of the comet’s apparition is what I’ll be concentrating on, now.

On April 1st it will be low at the start of strong twilight about 80 minutes before sunrise.  This point is about the limit for shooting images because of the encroaching twilight, so any images need to be shot before then.    It will be only 4 degrees or so above the horizon, so it will be very difficult if the sky conditions are not right.   Conditions improve somewhat by April 6, 2013, so I think I stand a better chance then.   At 5:30 am, the beginning of astronomical twilight, the comet will be over 7 degrees high, which improves my chances considerably for getting usable images.   If I start shooting then, I have about 10 minutes to shoot before strong twilight gets me.   lol   😀 Continue reading Comet Pan-STARRS April 1 to April 6, 2013

The Meade SN-8 Imaging Rig

My Meade SN-8, 8 Inch Schmidt-Newtonian.
My Meade SN-8, 8 Inch Schmidt-Newtonian.

This is one of my scopes that I use from time to time.  Its a relatively fast 800mm, F/4 optical arrangement.    When tuned it produces great images.  Trouble is, its hard to tune.  But, not impossible.   In addition to the scope, there’s a 500mm, F/5 achromatic telescope mounted on top and is used for guiding.

The laptop is used to control the telescope mount, control the cameras and do the guiding.