Saturday night 11/28

I took the CGEM into the driveway last night, mounted the Orion 80mm ED and the Orion shorttube guidescope on the ADM side by side and away we go….

Lined up both scopes on Deneb, then 2-star aligned the mount, added in 3 calibration stars, did a quick polar alignment (man, the illuminated reticle eyepiece helps totally here), switched the StarShoot autoguider in on the shorttube, and the big Orion SS Pro 2 cam in on the 80mm ED. Swung the rig over to M42 as a test. Fired up PhD guide and started guiding nicely first try after getting focus. Used Maxim DL essentials to get focus (or close enough for a test) on the Orion CCD cam. Was about 38F so I ran a 16′ USB cable from the powered USB hub into the garage and closed the garage door to work in warmer quarters while the laptop controlled everything outside. Pretty slick. 🙂

I’ve got a big streetlamp about 40 feet away and the moon was almost full, so, lots of light pollution…

Exposed a 1 second single full-frame and everything looked good in Maxim DL, altho M42 was low in the frame, but I didn’t care. Made my first error here and set Maxim for 10 30 second autosaves as 1×1 Light Color instead of 1×1 Light Raw and didn’t realize it, but no big deal. If weather permits I’ll try again tonight.

Took 10 30 second darks, without realizing they wouldn’t be useful with the 1×1 lights in color form, and tore everything down and called it a night.

Here’s a screencap of the first raw exposure as seen in .fit format by Maxim (click for larger version):


So, next up, longer exposures of varying length and proper dark subtraction…

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