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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - September 2022

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#1 herseycart

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 07:01 PM

Hopefully the sky is clear where you are.  Here in southeastern VA it seems like we have not had a good clear night in forever. 

 
Here is the list I put together for the September 2022 Monthly EAA Observing Challenge. I think most of these should be obtainable with modest gear.  Some of these I have captured before, others I have not.  Looking forward to hunting them down (if the sky ever clears) and to seeing other’s EAA captures. 

 
M 39 – Open Cluster in Cygnus – This one should be pretty easy.  M39 is a nice open cluster of about 2 dozen blue and yellow stars. Even though there are some other great Messier objects in the September night sky M 39 is the only Messier object on this month’s list.
https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Messier_39

 

NGC 6960 - A supernova remnant in Cygnus – The Western Veil Nebula also known as the Witch’s Broom. Wispy stringy blue, green, and red nebula which are the remains of an exploding star. NGC 6960 is just a small part of the Veil Nebula. An O-III filter may help here, but I have observed it many times without one.
https://en.wikipedia...iki/Veil_Nebula

 

NGC 457 – Open star cluster in Cassiopeia – The Owl Cluster – This is one of my favorites! This cluster contains about 60 stars. Lot of nice color in this cluster with blue, white, and a few yellow stars.  The brightest stars are the two which make up the owl’s eyes. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_457

 

NGC 884 and NGC 869 – The Double Cluster located in Perseus – This is a favorite of mine to observe visually, don’t think I have ever EAA observed it but since I added it to this list I plan to give it a try. Each cluster contains more than 300 blue-white giant stars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_884 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_869
https://en.wikipedia.../Double_Cluster

 

NGC 7380 - Open cluster in Cepheus – The open cluster of stars is surrounded by an emission nebula known as the Wizard Nebula. Might need an O-III filter for the nebula in this one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_7380

 

NGC 7331 - An unbarred spiral galaxy in Pegasus – Has a lot of friends including NGC 7335, NGC 7336 and several others which you may also be able to resolve. NGC 7331 is the brightest galaxy in what is known as the Deer Lick Group. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_7331
https://en.wikipedia.../NGC_7331_Group

  

Stephan’s Quintet - A galaxy group in Pegasus - NG7320, NGC 7319, NGC 7318a and 7318b, NGC 7317 –This group of galaxies was the inspiration for the angels at the beginning of the 1946 holiday film "It's a Wonderful Life". Recently made famous as one of the first publicly released images from the James Webb Space Telescope.  Give it a try and see what you can get without spending $11 Billion Dollars.
https://en.wikipedia...ephan's_Quintet

 

IC 10 – A starburst galaxy in Cassiopeia – I have not observed this one before, I was browsing the area around Cassiopeia in KStars to try to find something interesting for this list and here it is.  This is probably going to be the most difficult on this month’s list.  I am looking forward to giving it a try and also looking forward to seeing what others are able to capture.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IC_10

 

Not EAA objects and not part of the list but just wanted to make note that five planets, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars, will all be visible at some point in the September night sky (all of them should be up at the same time in the middle of the month). If you are into the planets there will be a lot to see this month.

 

Enjoy the list… clear skies and happy hunting.


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#2 Cey42

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 08:20 PM

Here is the SkySafari observing list. I love the Veil Nebula and Owl Cluster.

 

Attached File  CN Sept22.skylist   1.84KB   53 downloads


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#3 GaryShaw

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 12:03 AM

Hi

I happened to be taking a look at the Quintet and its neighboring, NGC 7331 'group' a few nights before this month's Challenge was posted. Hopefully posting it now won't get me sideways with anyone. The FOV needed to capture both galaxy groups doesn't do justice to the detail that might be achieved with a more focused look at each individual group. I'll backtrack on the individual target groups and see what's possible with a closer look at each.

Thanks to Herseycart for organizing this month's challenge!

Cheers All...

Gary

 

 

 

Stephan's Quintet  and NGC 7331

 

73 frames/ 20 secs/ 300 gain/ darks

 

StefansQuintet_20sec_300g_73frames_1460s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


Edited by GaryShaw, 01 September 2022 - 12:11 AM.

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#4 steveincolo

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 12:08 AM

Hi

I happened to be taking a look at the Quintet and its neighboring, NGC 7331 'group' a few nights before this month's Challenge was posted. Hopefully posting it now won't get me sideways with anyone. The FOV needed to capture both galaxy groups doesn't do justice to the detail that can be achieved with a more focused look at each individual group. I'll backtrack on the individual target group and see what's possible with a closer look at each.

Thanks to Herseycart for organizing this month's challenge!

Cheers All...

Gary

 

 

 

Stephan's Quintet  and NGC 7331

 

73 frames/ 20 secs/ 300 gain/ darks

 

attachicon.gifStefans Quintet_20sec_300g_73frames_1460s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

Outstanding view!



#5 nother

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 07:17 AM

Hi and thank you for you September selection.

 

I am currently attending a star party and had some of your objects on my observing list too so that I can share my screenshots from last night.

 

Equipment:

RC 10" f/8

ASI 533MX pro

Sharpcap 4.0.92xx (instead of using darks I tested the new hotpixel removal mode ... and it works very well!)

Ascom Alpaca

NEQ-6 mount

 

NGC 7331

ngc7331_1g7d3t.png

10 x 30s, Gain 300

 

Stephan's Quintett

stephansquintettiht22imivw.png

34 x 30s, Gain 300

 

mobile.17qjff2.jpeg


Edited by nother, 01 September 2022 - 07:19 AM.

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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 10:13 AM

Nice selection. NGC7331 and Stephans Quintet are certainly popular! 

 

I took aim at these two targets last night after the moon had set. (Set-up is AT130EDT reduced to f/5.5, ASI290MM mini at 300 gain, and captured with ASILive, no binning and no filters, from my Bortle 4ish back yard).

 

This was the first time I've looked at these targets this season. Click to zoom in.

 

Here's a 7 minute capture of NGC7331 and friends:

 

NGC7331; 28 x 15sec

 

 

NGC7331_f5.5F_Light_Stack_28frames_15sec_RS_Bin1_24.2C_gain300_2022-08-31_231340.jpg


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#7 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 10:15 AM

Same set-up for this 10 minute capture of the quintet:

 

Stephans Quintet; 40 x 15sec

 

 

Stephans Quintet_NGC7320_f5.5F_Light_Stack_40frames_15sec_RS_Bin1_24.3C_gain300_2022-08-31_233345.jpg


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#8 steveincolo

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 01:07 PM

Had a chance to view several last night.  Setup 1 in my sig.  

 

M39 in LRGB.  A nice yellow-orange star amidst bright blues.

Messier 39 31Aug22 22 01 06 - LRGB view
 
NGC 457 in LRGB.  Very pretty.
NGC 457 01Sep22 02 40 39

 

NGC 7380 in LRGB.  Shows hints of the nebula.

NGC 7380 31Aug22 22 14 23 - LRGB view
 

NGC 7380 in HOO.  Shows the nebula but loses the star colors.

NGC 7380 31Aug22 22 43 08 - HOO view
 
NGC 7331 in LRGB.  Noticed for the first time an edge-on mag 15 galaxy (labeled in the Zwicky CGCG catalog) near NGC 7327.  It's as bright as NGC 7336, should've been an NGC galaxy!
NGC 7331 31Aug22 23 15 07 - LRGB view
 
Stephan's Quintet in LRGB.  The faint tail from NGC 7319 is a challenge, very faintly visible here!   It's visible in Errol's view and stands out nicely in Gary's wide view.  I included the ring galaxy NGC 7320C in this view.  
NGC 7318A 31Aug22 23 50 51 - LRGB view
 
A close-up of the Quintet. Might be able to sense the spiral nature of NGC 7320.
NGC 7318A 31Aug22 23 51 14 - LRGB view
 
IC 10 in LRGB.  
IC 10 01Sep22 00 08 16 - LRGB view
 
Wikipedia says that this is the only starburst galaxy in the Local Group, and it has a "huge envelope of hydrogen gas" with an HII nucleus.  So I tried getting some Ha data, the nucleus is visible.
IC 10 01Sep22 00 19 49 - Ha view

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#9 Bob_Stan

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 11:28 AM

Here is NGC 7380 through an LExtreme filter

C-11 f/10

ASI 294 MC Pro

10x60secs bin 2x2

 

C-11NGC_7380_2x2_10x60.000secs_-10.00C_modified.png

 

 

 


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#10 Bob_Stan

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 11:40 AM

IC 10
C-11 f/10
ASI 294 MC Pro
16x45secs bin 2x2

 

C-11IC_10_2x2_16x45.000secs_-10.00C_modified.png

 

 


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#11 herseycart

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 07:41 AM

Finally had a nice clear night last night... and I had nothing but issues frown.gif  First I had some issues with INDI/KStars/Ekos recognizing the mount, it kept wanting to use the serial port for the GPS.  I got that sorted pretty quick. 

 

The more frustrating issues was that for some reason SharpCap could not read my FITS files to live stack.  I captured a lot of images/data but was not able to live stack.  So in the spirit of EAA here are some unstacked single exposures (since anything I do now would be post processing) of a few of this month's targets. No flats or darks, no stretching... see what I saw with each exposure in the KStars FITS Viewer.

 

All of these were captured with the ASI 294MC Pro through the SV503 102ED with a .8 Focal Reducer. 

 

The Double Cluster - Single 10 second exposure at 300 gain

DoubleCluster Single10sec 300gain

I could of framed this better, but since I was frustrated with the issues I was having... well I didn't.

 

IC 10 - Single 15 second exposure at 300 gain

IC10 single15sec 300gain
Very faint but I can see there should be something there... stacking would have revealed a bit more I am sure. 

 

NGC 457 - The Owl Cluster - Single 10 second exposure at 300 gain

NGC 457 Owl single10sec 300gain
This is one of my favorites and it looks spectacular even with just a single exposure.
 
Stephan's Quintet and NGC 7331 - Single 15 second exposure at 300 gain
Stephans Quintet single15sec 300gain
Still not bad for a fraction of $11 billion.

 

Really bummed I had issues with SharpCap.  I am able to open the FITS files in other programs, but SharpCap kept giving me errors that it could not read the files.  Anyway hopefully I can get it worked out, tonight is suppose to be another clear night.


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#12 Bob_Stan

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 08:08 AM

I have always thought this is a very pretty galaxy.

 

NGC 7331
C-11 f/10
ASI 294 MC Pro
30x30secs bin 2x2

 

C-11NGC_7331_2x2_30x30.000secs_-10.00C_mofiiiified.png


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#13 Bob_Stan

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 08:18 AM

Stephan's Quintet

C-11 f/10
ASI 294 MC Pro
16x45 secs bin 2x2

 

C-11Stephans'_Quartet_2x2_16x45.000secs_-10.00C_modified.png

 

 


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#14 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 10:25 AM

The more frustrating issues was that for some reason SharpCap could not read my FITS files to live stack. 

 

Really bummed I had issues with SharpCap.  I am able to open the FITS files in other programs, but SharpCap kept giving me errors that it could not read the files.  Anyway hopefully I can get it worked out, tonight is suppose to be another clear night.

Hi

I’m just curious why you’d capture in .FITS format for EAA. That format is obviously giving you trouble plus it’s not easily used by others should you want to share your images. I use .FITS all the time for exoplanet and variable star imaging for which that format is the ‘standard’ but always use .png format for SC EAA observing…it’s always been trouble free.

cheers

Gary


Edited by GaryShaw, 03 September 2022 - 10:26 AM.


#15 herseycart

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 10:31 AM

Hi

I’m just curious why you’d capture in .FITS format for EAA. That format is obviously giving you trouble plus it’s not easily used by others should you want to share your images. I use .FITS all the time for exoplanet and variable star imaging for which that format is the ‘standard’ but always use .png format for SC EAA observing…it’s always been trouble free.

cheers

Gary

Ekos captures the FITS from my remote setup and drops them in a folder. SharpCap reads the FITS from the folder and once SharpCap processes them I save them as PNG.  Have been using the same process for months with great results, just last night was a bit frustrating.  Something is up either with the new KStars/Ekos/INDI or SharpCap.  I opened a bug report in the SharpCap forum.  Other programs have no issues reading the FITS, I am sure it will get sorted.

 

Thanks

Hersey


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#16 steveincolo

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 10:34 AM

Ekos captures the FITS from my remote setup and drops them in a folder. SharpCap reads the FITS from the folder and once SharpCap processes them I save them as PNG.  Have been using the same process for months with great results, just last night was a bit frustrating.  Something is up either with the new KStars/Ekos/INDI or SharpCap.  I opened a bug report in the SharpCap forum.  Other programs have no issues reading the FITS, I am sure it will get sorted.

 

Thanks

Hersey

Are you able to reproduce the problem now using old subs saved as FITS that previously worked?  



#17 herseycart

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 11:20 AM

Are you able to reproduce the problem now using old subs saved as FITS that previously worked?  

Not with old subs, only the ones captured since updating KStars/Ekos/INDI.  I am sure it is something there, just curious why it is only SharpCap which seems to have issue with it.


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#18 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 11:54 AM

Moderator Note:

 

If anyone wants to further discuss any live stacking issues with SharpCap, please start a new topic. Thanks.


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#19 PeterAB

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 12:30 PM

I was working visual last night.    The forecast was for cloudy.  I did a hasty setup and skipped an accurate polar alignment.   It turned out that the sky was clear.    The owl cluster looked nice in the eyepiece and I did EAA view as well.   The view was similar with dimmer stars visible in the EAA view.  Transparency just under m4 naked eye,   seeing good. 

 

Meade 2080 8" SCT, 0.63 reducer, asi294mc, IR-UV cut filter.   SharpCap live stacked.

 

NGC457 (aka C13, Owl cluster).    435 seconds (29x15s).  53.7' x 36.6'.  North up, east left. 

1-NGC457 C13 Owl cluster_Stack_29frames_435s.jpg

 

Peter


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#20 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 03:47 PM

Hi

So, here I'll follow up on my threat from Post #3 to include individual images of Stephan's Quintet and NGC 7331. I really don't see a great deal more detail but I've limited the integration time to 10 mins on all my images. Perhaps more would yield more detail. Perhaps the 'Bin 1' setting on the 294, with its 2.4 micron pixels might help.

 

Stephans Quintet

 

31 frames/ 20 sec/ 300 gain/ no filter

 

StefansQuintetCropStack_31frames_620s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


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#21 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 03:51 PM

There's a bit more detail visible in the upper arms of the galaxy but seems quite a bit less prominent in the reduced and cropped image than on-screen at the time....zooming in on the image helps a bit.

 

 

NGC 7331

 

20 frames/ 30 secs/ 300 gain/ no filter

 

NGC7331RezCroppedStack_20frames_600s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


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#22 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 03:57 PM

This one is really nice in color but even a mono image like this one shows the structure of the gas clouds as they've expanded since the  super nova that created this incredible series of nubulae. If I had my Redcat 51 with me, I'd definitely want to post a view of the entire supernovae remnant - just incredible to see it all in a single view.

 

 

NGC 6960 - Western Veil Nebula

 

26 frames/ 15 secs/ 300 gain/ no filter

 

NGC6960Stack_26frames_390s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


Edited by GaryShaw, 03 September 2022 - 04:15 PM.

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#23 steveincolo

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 04:03 PM

This one is really nice in color but even a mono image like this one shows the structure of the gas clouds as they've expanded since the  super novae that created this incredible series of nubulae. If I had my Redcat 51 with me, I'd definitely want to post a view of the entire supernovae remnant - just incredible to see it all.

 

 

NGC 6960 - Western Veil Nebula

 

26 frames/ 15 secs/ 300 gain/ no filter

 

attachicon.gifNGC6960Stack_26frames_390s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

Gary, was this and your NGC 7331/Stephan's Quintet from your Wyoming location?  



#24 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 04:08 PM

Now for a few clusters...

 

The Owl, NGC 457

 

Sorry, I must have trashed the camera settings in my zest to offload clutter from the scope-side Nuc.

 

 

NGC457 Owl_00001 07_18_53Z_Open.jpg

 

Double Cluster NGC 884

 

27 frames/ 12 sec/ 200 gain/ no filters

 

NGC884CropStack_27frames_324s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

 


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#25 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 04:13 PM

Finally for the night, here's an attempt at IC 10 - clearly there but no prize likely for this one. Image taken with IC 10 fairly high in altitude and decent skies measuring 21.35 SQM. I think this is probably the best my humble 8" can deliver...at least with me at the helm.

 

IC 10

 

30 frames/ 20 secs/ 300 gain/ no filters

 

IC 10 Stack_30frames_600s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


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