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Monthly Observing Challenge June 2019

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#1 neaptide

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:50 AM

Hey there EAA'rs. I've been out of the game since February due to mount issues, but I just received a brand new replacement mount in time for the June observing challenges. Hopefully the new mount will work as advertised and all will be well. Supposed to have clear skies this weekend so I'm hopeful.....

 

EASY:

 

M57 Ring Nebula. This Mag 8.8 planetary nebula is in the constellation Lyra. 

 

This was my very first EAA target and I still stop by to check it out just about every time I'm set up in June

 

M92 Globular Cluster.  This Mag 6.6 cluster in Hercules is often passed over in favor of its more famous brother M13

 

 

INTERMEDIATE:

 

NGC6543 Cats Eye Nebula. This Mag 8.1 planetary nebula is in the constellation Draco. Gonna need some focal length to fully resolve this one. Can you see the faint central star in the middle?

 

NGC6946 Fireworks Galaxy. This Mag 8.8 galaxy is in the constellation Cygnus. Even though it is a mag 8.8 galaxy it is quite dim and may take some time to get your best view.

 

CHALLENGING:  

 

NGC4568 Siamese Twins.  This pair of colliding galaxies lies in the constellation Virgo and is part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Mag 10.73. This is just a cool object and I really enjoy viewing it.

 

M97 Owl Nebula.  Mag 9.8 planetary nebula in Ursa Major. This has been a real challenge for me due to my extremely light polluted skies. Those of you with darker skies this may not be a challenge at all. If you have a LP filter or one of those fancy new OSC narrow band filters try to give us a comparison of a filtered observation and non-filtered observation. 

 

Barnard 72 The Snake.  Dark Nebula in Ophiuchus. I'm gonna say that this will be a real challenge for most of us due to it's altitude and its proximity to the moon for much of the month. Dark skies are probably mandatory but give it a try and see what you can see.

 

 

Solar System Challenge:  The planets will be coming into view this month and who doesn't like viewing the king of the planets?

Let's try to get an observation of the Red Spot on Jupiter. There are plenty of resources on the web to let you know when it will be visible.

 

Southern Challenge: The challenge will be to show us northerners something cool that does not make it into northern skies. Pick whatever is in a good position for you and show us what we are missing.


Edited by neaptide, 31 May 2019 - 12:23 PM.

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#2 roelb

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 05:03 PM

Evolution 8" @ f/5 with ZWO ASI290MM @ clear skies

 

M 57 - 16 x 5 s

M 57_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 16 frames_Tot.Exp. 80s_2019-06-01T23_41_39__80s.jpg

 

M 92 - 25 x 1 s

M 92_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 25 frames_Tot.Exp. 27s_2019-06-01T23_34_20__27,0s.jpg

 

M 97 - 20 x 15 s

M 97_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 20 frames_Tot.Exp. 300s_2019-06-02T00_16_15__300s.jpg

 

NGC 4568 - 30 x 10 s

NGC 4568_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 30 frames_Tot.Exp. 300s_2019-06-02T00_04_25__300s.jpg

 

NGC 6946 - 35 x 10 s

NGC 6946_ZWO ASI290MM(53045621)_Stack 35 frames_Tot.Exp. 350s_2019-06-01T23_55_40__350s.jpg

 

NGC 6543 - 6 x 2 s

Evolution 8" @ f/3.6 with ZWO ASI224MC

NGC 6543_101_Stack_6frames_12s.jpg

 

resized & cropped:

NGC 6543_101_Stack_6frames_12s_resized_crop.jpg


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#3 cshine

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 06:13 AM

Experimenting with a borrowed C11 @ f10. ZWO 294 on an EQ6-R mount. As expected f10 is real slow and I'll be going back to using focal reduction as soon as I can to keep up with roelb smile.gif

The Owl nebula, 16 x 60s @ gain 236, 2x2 bin

Starting to get some separation between the two overlapping shells. Interesting faint little ring-shaped object to the bottom right.

Owl2.JPG

Edited by cshine, 03 June 2019 - 07:18 AM.

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#4 neaptide

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:37 PM

Here's a few observations from my first light with the new mount.

 

CGX mount

E.S.208 F3.9 Newt

ASI294 Pro

Sharpcap 3.2

 

M92

14 X 15 seconds

M92.jpg

 

M97

23 X 15 seconds

M97.jpg

 

NGC 4568 Siamese Twins

20 X 15 Seconds

Siamese twins.jpg

 

 


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#5 cshine

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 09:02 AM

Unusually clear summer's night here in H-town so I made use of a borrowed C11 again. I'm working through a collimation issue on the C11 but decided to use it anyway (because aperture fever > logic). I sourced a 2" visual back and so used a .63 reducer for most targets. Incidentally I also switched from Astronomik CLS to Orion Skyglow as a test and it worked well despite the lack of IR block. Captured with Sharpcap 3.2, saved as viewed. Taken with ZWO294 cooled on an EQ6-R mount (which is somehow handling the C11+gear very well!). All 1x1 bin (which was dumb, see below). I'm trying to shoot at lower gain at the expense of longer exposures for a cleaner view.

 

M57 20x30s @ gain 195 

M57 20x30s G195 B1 F6 .JPG

 

M97 (again) 18x40s @ 261

M97 Owl 18x40s @261 B1.JPG

 

M92 9x30s @ 200

M92 9x30s G200 B1.JPG

 

Siamese Twins 10x30s @ 200

Siamese 10x30s G200.JPG

 

NGC4564 is in the top left, IC2578 (mag 15) lower right.  

Siamese 19x30s G200 B1 +NGC4564 and IC3578.JPG

 

C6 8x18s @ 200 with x2.5 Powermate Barlow for some reach. This was at 2am so I completely forgot my own advice here to switch to 3x3 binning at this FL (7000mm!)

C6 8x18s G200 B1.JPG

 

Incidentally, C6 can also be viewed with long exposure to get the very faint surrounding detail. This is from last month's challenge - Celestron C8 @ 6.3 5x180s @ gain 376. Taken outside the city, couldn't reproduce this last night in the burbs. 

C6 5x180s @ 376 (2).jpg

 

The GRB wasn't coming around for another hour and I was done but here's a quick (1x40ms) shot of the Big Guy at transit for completion. This is where the mis-collimation issue is most apparent, I think this could/should be a little better.

Jupiter 42msx1 B1 G171.JPG

 

Phew, all done with 300bytes to spare. Good thing I left the Fireworks galaxy for another night smile.gif

 


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#6 saguaro

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 12:17 PM

Evolution 8 at F/4 with ZWO 385MC and UV/IR cut filter, SharpCap live stacking with master dark

 

Owl Nebula, 40x15sec

Owl-Nebula-40x15sec-zwouvir.jpg

 

Ring Nebula, 20x15sec

Ring-Nebula-Astro-UVIR-20x1.jpg

 

Siamese Twins, 43x15sec

Siamese-Twins-Astro-UVIR-43.jpg

 

We've now entered the summer monsoon weather pattern which means hazy skies and hot weather with higher humidity, so I'm glad I was able to get some of the monthly targets. I'll be at the Grand Canyon Star Party the last week of June, and hope to get some better weather there.

 


Edited by saguaro, 08 June 2019 - 01:59 PM.

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#7 bdyer22

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 10:11 PM

So, this is the first attempt w/ SharpCap and 290m mini no filters.  The experience will be detailed in another thread. smile.gif

 

All captures taken on 127 Mak @ f6ish on AVX - only one was guided via the Lodestar X2.

 

Note, the capture details are recorded from SharpCap in the description.  (sorry, next time I'll work out the details).

 

ngc9646 Fireworks Galaxy

NGC6946 Fireworks Galaxy 120frames 600s
 
ngc6543 Cats eye nebula
NGC6543 Cats Eye Nebula 1frames 3s
 
m92
M92 12frames 96s Mak 127 @ f6
 
m57
M57 56frames 448s Mak 127 @ f6

Edited by bdyer22, 09 June 2019 - 10:13 PM.

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#8 Anduin

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 07:19 PM

Not very often I capture images of galaxies. After all I image with a 71mm refractor.

But for the monthly Southern object I bring to you the Grus Quartet.
71mm refractor, asi1600mm
Sharpcap 10x30s
Cropped

4584055b9d2033e1164f3b032bf81e51.jpg


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#9 neaptide

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 09:05 PM

Very cool object Anduin. Thanks!!!  


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#10 cshine

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:41 PM

Managed to just catch the great red spot this evening, Jupiter was up at 32 degrees and not quite out of the muck. C11 @ F25 w/2.5 Powermate, ZWO294. Settled on ~80ms, Bin 2 and ~100 gain as the best balance. Pushing the midpoint of the histogram to the right gave better contrast..

 

 

Jupe_settings.JPG

 

I believe that's Europa and Io in the frame, Callisto and Ganymede would be out of frame at this FL

 

Nice little break from live stacking, good idea adding this to the challenge line up. I had to perform some emergency tree trimming to clear the view, hopefully nobody saw that..


Edited by cshine, 12 June 2019 - 11:57 PM.

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#11 neaptide

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:28 AM

Nice catch cshine!!! 

I think sometimes us eaa’rs  focus so much on faint targets that we forget about our ability to get really nice views of the planets and the moon using our equipment.


Edited by neaptide, 13 June 2019 - 07:05 PM.

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#12 neaptide

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 11:49 AM

I got a little observing time last night with my C9.25 while I was working out the kinks on my new mount. It was a little windy and I had some intermittent clouds coming through and definitely not great seeing, but I've had so few opportunities lately I set up anyway. Using my C9.25 @ F/10 with the small chip on the ASI224 is a challenge but it gives me the FOV I was looking for. I really like the features Sharpcap3.2 has for viewing on the fly. The saturation slider works well.

 

15 X 15 Seconds  Gain 300

 

CGX

C9.25

ASI224

Darks subtracted

 

Stack_15frames_225s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

Screenshot (20).jpg


Edited by neaptide, 22 June 2019 - 11:58 AM.

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#13 neaptide

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 11:53 AM

Here's an up close and personal view of M57 using the same equipment as above.

 

12 X 15 Seconds Gain 300

 

 

Stack_12frames_180s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

 

 

In case anyone is interested. The red spot on Jupiter transits tonight at 9:10 pm. I will be at a wedding so unfortunately I’m gonna miss it. 

 

Not a lot of participation in the thread this month........?


Edited by neaptide, 22 June 2019 - 12:38 PM.

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#14 bdyer22

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 03:59 PM

Not a lot of participation in the thread this month........?

I was lucky to get one night this month with all the clouds here.  Tried last night, was supposed to be clear, but a thunderstorm blew up right at dusk with tons of lightning.

 

Edit:  I did get a single capture.

 

C8 .4x focal reduction.  AVX mount, no guiding, no filters.  SharpCap.  290mm mini

Stack 69frames 276s

Edited by bdyer22, 22 June 2019 - 04:47 PM.

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#15 Anduin

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 01:14 PM

This was taken in May/2019, since I haven’t had no opportunities this month, I post it here.

Barnard 72 aka Snake Nebula
Sharpcap 12x30s
Asi1600mm
71mm refractor

ca7806256a59ff12a7cd2297d5211dad.jpg


db904016af84b25bf2752b05a96aa9f6.jpg
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Edited by Anduin, 23 June 2019 - 01:33 PM.

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#16 bdyer22

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:57 PM

Barnard 72 aka Snake Nebula
Sharpcap 12x30s
Asi1600mm
71mm refractor

 

What you do with a 71mm refractor is amazing.  thanks for sharing!


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#17 khursh

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

NGC 6946 is the only object from this great selection I can view from my location. It just so happens, I love this 'grand design' galaxy, It's like a mini M101 and the bonus 'super bubble' nebula within on of the great arms of the galaxy is interesting. Also 25 Million light years away, like M101.
 
Click to embiggen
Stack 60frames 300s WithDisplayStretch

 

Orion EON 120 ED @ f/6 (with Orion reducer)

CEM60

ASI290-cool

 

5s x 60 = 300s total


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#18 Lorenz0x7BC

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:00 AM

Yesterday I went out to try my luck as the skies were clear again but in the end I was not so lucky. I frustratingly struggled with various things.

 

There were constant gusts of wind that made the majority of subframes blurry (I tried SharpCap's FWHM filter at a seemingly reasonable threshold level but that resulted in almost no frames left, I had to wait several minutes for say 3 frames to stack).

 

Then it was really hot (30°C=86°F) and somehow the dark frames I took at the beginning of this session did not work as expected: there was still significant amp glow and hot pixels in the stacked images (perhaps because the temperature slowly dropped over time?).

Edit: In the morning I suddenly realized what my error was! I had changed the White Balance (R/B) values after capturing the dark frames. Doh! foreheadslap.gif

 

And I could not achieve good contrast. Can it really be that those short summer nights and a 50% lit moon (even if still below the horizon?) increase background noise in such a significant way?

 

Here is the best I ended up with:

Stack_28frames_112s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

NGC 6946 Fireworks Galaxy

28x4s (112s) - Gain 350 - RAW16 (cropped)

[Evo8 Alt-Az ASI224 @F4 +dark]


Edited by Lorenz0x7BC, 27 June 2019 - 02:24 AM.

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#19 selfo

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:16 PM

Nabbed this challenge ,Barnard 72 (Snake),  last night  at the RMSS Star Party.  Under dark skies was able to capture this one which I never could do at home.  

 

80mm APO with 0.63 FR using ASI 385 uncooled piggybacked on my LX200

 

 

gallery_251523_11431_1953689.png


Edited by selfo, 28 June 2019 - 04:18 PM.

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#20 selfo

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:38 PM

Here is the Fireworks Galaxy and Siamese also taken at RMSS.  Tonight is my last night so will relish in the Dark Skies doing only visual with my binoculars and a lounge chairsmile.gif cool.gif

 

gallery_251523_11431_804648.png

 

 

gallery_251523_11431_2651115.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#21 neaptide

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:00 PM

Anduin & Selfo  It's amazing what dark skies will do for your observing. Great job on Barnard 72bow.gif



#22 jrbuchanan

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 04:40 PM

Here is my attempt at M57.  57 x5sec exposures.  Shot with Celestron NextStar 6se and ZWO 224 camera using sharpcap.  Also I included dark frame intergration in livestack using sharpcap. Saved this as png from sharpcap, only alteration was that I reduced size of file in photoshop  to meet CN forum size requirements. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Stack_57frames_285s_WithDisplayStretch.png

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#23 Lorenz0x7BC

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 03:36 AM

OK, here is my second attempt at capturing the Fireworks Galaxy. I think it is better than the first one (some posts above).

 

Stack_9frames_270s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

 

NGC 6946 Fireworks Galaxy
9x30s (270s) - Gain 200 - RAW16
[Evo8 Alt-Az ASI224 @F4 +dark SC3.2]


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#24 roelb

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 04:10 PM

Here are my trials made at home which is a sub-urban region with quite some light pollution.

6 SE @ f/5 > ASI224MC (no filter)

SharpCap 3.2

 

M 57 - 10 x 10 s

 

M 57_ZWO ASI224MC(16277126)_10 x 10,0s = 100s_29-6-2019T01_06_47.jpg

 

M 92 - 5 x 5 s

 

M 92_ZWO ASI224MC(16277126)_5 x 5,0s = 25s_29-6-2019T01_12_40.jpg

 

NGC 6543 - 15 x 1 s - cropped

 

NGC 6543_ZWO ASI224MC(16277126)_15 x 1,0s = 15s_29-6-2019T01_19_19.jpg

 

NGC 6946 - 50 x 10 s

 

NGC 6946_ZWO ASI224MC(16277126)_50 x 10,0s = 500s_29-6-2019T00_54_42.jpg


Edited by roelb, 01 July 2019 - 03:25 PM.

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#25 Lorenz0x7BC

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 07:31 AM

Here are my trials made at home which is a sub-urban region with quite some light pollution.

Evo 8 @ f/5 > ASI224MC (no filter)

SharpCap 3.2

 

 

NGC 6946 - 50 x 10 s

 

attachicon.gif NGC 6946_ZWO ASI224MC(16277126)_50 x 10,0s = 500s_29-6-2019T00_54_42.jpg

Your NGC 6946 is really good! How much Gain did you have?




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