Hey all, last night I travelled to my dark site, as in dark when compared to the city that is. My chosen target was the Wizard Nebula.
- Celestron AVX
- William Optics GT71
- Canon T6i
- Hotech 2" SCA Self-Centering Field Flattener
The first mistake of the night was made during the day. My wife, and I visited the the super market before heading to the dark site. We ended up staying there longer than expected, and then hit traffic on our way back home. This all lead to us arriving late at the dark site, and having to set up in the dark. My apologies to any amateur astronomers who were there and we blinded with our car lights.
Usually is easy for me to point the scope towards a bright star, and focus but tonight no matter where I pointed the scope I could not see the stars on the back of my DSLR's screen. As a result I spent 30-40 minutes just trying to get something on the screen. I made note using the markings on the focuser which was at perfect focus at 43mm out. So I'm hoping that won't be as big of an issue going forward.
This was my first time using Sharcap for polar alignment, and I was delighted and thrilled at how easy it was to polar align the scope. I settled on 00°01'25" of alignment error which sharp cap considered good.
AVX Issues(need feedback here)
I made sure the index for the mount were in the correct position. I entered date, time, and chose daylight savings. The mount slewed to Vega but it was way off so I correct it. I forgot what the second star I chose. I then slew to Jupiter, and it was off so I corrected the alignment. I wen't back to Vega and the star was on the center. So I was confident my star alignment was correct.
This was one of the biggest errata of the night, and cost me the image all together. The alignment was off, and I ended up pointing at NGC 7419 for the entire night. Before tearing up for the night, I pointed the scope to M31 and noticed it was not on the frame, that's when I realized something was way off before I even saw the image when I got home.
any recommendations when doing star alignment with an AVX? or should I use NINA ? I'm thinking of getting an AISAIR so maybe this is a non issue. I haven't looked into it but I think the ASIAIR has a feature for star aligning the mount ?
I have a Celestron power tank that I use to power the AVX. Where the cable meets the power input for the mount, seems a bit loose, and when I move the cable the mount turns off and on. I got the cable at the right angle so this does not happen but is really annoying and I alway risk the mount loosing power while tracking if the cable gets in a position it does not like.
Is there a special cable I should use for the AVX as far as powering the mount?
My exposures were 1 minute and 33 seconds unguided. I have a guidecam on the way ! anyway I went with a minute thirty three because that's what got the histogram 1/3 of the way across. I'm posting the image below in case your sharp eyes can see some issues I need to address. I noticed the stars on the corners are elongated despite having a field flattener. Not sure what's going there.
Stacked 1 hr 17 mins
When I got home and saw the random star field, I had no idea what I had shot. So I used https://nova.astrometry.net/ to plate solve the image.
Edited by Diomedes, 18 October 2020 - 12:24 PM.