New Year’s Eve Weekend of 2023

M33 on Dec 30th, 2023. 51×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

It was the last two nights of the year and I had clear weather.  What luck!

So, on Friday night, Dec 30th, I had to take care of unfinished business with the Horse Head from the last session.   I had something to block the parking lot lights from next door this time.  While waiting for the Horse Head to get into position, I took images of M33 (above,) which I hadn’t tried with the AT60ED, yet.  It came out decent, I guess.

While taking the Horse Head, I noticed on the charts that a comet was in the field.   It was C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), at magnitude 11.9 according to Cartes du Ciel.

Horse Head Nebula Region on Dec 30th, 2023. 44x180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Horse Head Nebula Region on Dec 30th, 2023. 44×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Horse Head and Flame Nebulae. 44×180 sec, QHY294C, AT60ED, Antlia Triband filter. Rotated, cropped, color enhanced.
C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)

I imaged until almost midnight on Friday.   I left the mount setup  and brought in the rest with plans to try again on Saturday,  New Year’s Eve.

On New Year’s Eve, my plans were to go for M78.  While it was getting high enough, I got some more data on the Heart Nebula – an hour and six minutes.   I mixed it with the salvaged Heart job from a couple of months back at about 22 percent to help fill in some noise.

When I got going on M78, it gave me problems with tracking.  I finally realized it was my guide calibration and after redoing it, I was back in business, but wasted almost an hour figuring that out.   Consequently, by the time the clouds came at about 10:20 PM, I still had less than 2 hours of data.    Oh, well…   I’ll try again next year!    lol

The Heart Nebula on Dec 31th, 2023. 22x180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
The Heart Nebula on Dec 31th, 2023. 22×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
M78 on Dec 31th, 2023. 36×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
M78 on Dec 31th, 2023. 36×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.  Detail crop.

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