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Plato and the Alpine Valley, Feb 26, 2018

Plato and the Alpine Valley, Feb 26, 2018. RT Sony IMX224, 6 inch, F/8 with Televue 2x Barlow (F/16.). Best 25 out of 100 frames.

For this imaging session of the Moon, I wanted to try shooting at 2400 mm focal length using a 2x Barlow with my 6 inch, F/8 Newtonian scope and Sony IMX224 eyepiece cam.  This was done in preparation to get some shots of Jupiter I’ve been meaning to do.   Conditions for this session were marginal, at best, however.

I had clouds galore and seeing was very poor.   I only managed three captures before the clouds came in force and shut me down.   At least I got a chance to try the rig on something easy before I attempt capturing Jupiter with it.

I left the mount setup outside and took in the scope and laptop, thinking that I could get Jupiter when I woke up the following morning.   Unfortunately, the skies were no better than the night before and although I could see Jupiter, clouds were coming and going over it.   So, no luck with getting Jupiter, just yet.    Maybe next time…

Tycho Crater

Tycho Crater – Feb 26 2018. Best 25 frames of 100. RT Sony IMX224, 6 in, F/8 Newt.

A view of Tycho crater on the Moon taken Feb 26, 2018.   It was taken with a 6 inch, F/8 Newtonian and a RT Sony IMX224 eyepiece cam.    Best 25 frames out of 100.

Moon At 1200mm F.L.

Northern area of the Moon taken on Feb 26, 2018. RT Sony IMX224, 6in, F/8 Newt, best 16 frames of 100.

First of 3 videos of the moon captured towards the end of February, 2018.  Poor conditions, but I was just testing a rather long 6 inch, F/8 Newtonian on the Atlas EQ-G mount.   Pretty shaky rig, but usable for moon and planetary imaging.

M67 Open Cluster – 6 Inch Newt at F/8, (1200 mm Focal Length)

M67 Open Cluster. Orion 6 inch, F/8 and RT Sony IMX224 eyepiece camera. 201 x 2 sec at gain 2650.  Up-scaled 200% in processing.

I purchased some rings and an extra-long dovetail bar for my Orion 6 inch, F/8 dobsonian and mounted it on the Atlas EQ-G.   It has a really narrow view with a Sony IMX224 chip camera, but its sharp and there was not much distortion throughout the entire field.

The newt lets you shoot with no filters and you pick up everything, including IR, with the standard clear filter that Rising Tech cameras ship with.    That’s great for galaxies.    Although this first test shot was not a galaxy, I hope to try it out on some, soon.

The rig is sensitive to balance and wind being the tube is so long and is also very sensitive to vibrations.   Since I was imaging next to a busy parking lot, I noticed lots of rejected frames in the SharpCap stacking program when the activity there increased.  Even loud noises would disturb it.   LoL.

Although conditions were not the best and the red zone light pollution I imaged through kept me from getting really deep, I did manage to do a few test shots before conditions deteriorated,

The above image was actually the second shot of the night, the first one being this unknown star field below that I shot to test the tracking.  It was a little difficult to dial-in a star to get a 3-star alignment on the mount, so I just went with seeing how long I could track with PHD2 Guiding at the same old settings I used with the TV-85 on a random star field.    8 sec exposures yielded too many rejected frames, so I went with 4 sec for this one.

Unknown star field. 70×4 sec @ Gain 2067, RT Sony IMX224 cam, 6″, F/8 newt, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD, PHD2 guiding w/Orion Ultra-mini and StarShoot.

Before the clouds came back and ruined my session, I was able to get 60×4 sec sub-images at the relatively high gain of 3108 of this open cluster in Gemini, called IC 2157:

IC 2157. 60×4 sec @ 3108 gain, RT Sony IMX224, 6 inch, F/8 Newt, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD.

Anyway, if I can get the tracking to get me up to 8 seconds of exposure, I will be able to shoot some of those tiny galaxies that my Televue TV-85 just can’t do justice to.