Monday, June 6, 2016

New Cooling Fan Installed.

After having the cooling fan of the SBIG ST-10 die last Wednesday, I took the camera off the OTA on Friday night and took it into Stardome for Tony Burns to take a look at, after running some tests Tony could see that thankfully it was just the fan that needed replacing, Tony Burns found a replacement fan at Jaycar on Saturday afternoon and installed the new fan as well as putting some loose parts back together on the camera. On Sunday afternoon I dropped by Tony's to pick up the camera and that night I re-installed the camera on the OTA, after turning on the camera I was delighted to see it get down to -20 quickly and stay at -20 consistently with power consumption hovering around the 50-60% mark, this is fantastic as I can now set about collecting a new set of dark and Bias frames at -20 for calibration, the seeing was not fantastic on the night with a FWHM of 4.3 being the best I could manage on the night! after getting as good a focus as I could get, I set about doing a re-calibration of the best T-Point model that I had taken a while back, after capturing 17 re-calibration sample points, the pointing was back to being either on the crosshairs or within a few arc seconds of every target.

As well as bad astronomical seeing there was also quite a bit of high cloud around as well, you could easily see the fog filter effect on the brighter stars with the naked eye, even though it was not the greatest conditions for imaging I set about capturing some targets, I imaged Comet 9P Tempel as well as 116P Wild then moved on to taking some images of galaxies and nebulae, the clouds became thicker around 4 am in the morning so I closed up the dome and headed home for some much needed sleep.

Sombrero Galaxy 60 x 60 second exposures of luminance stacked. ^

Part of the Trifid Nebula captured with 60 x 20 second exposures in the Red filter stacked. ^

Posted by Jonathan Green

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