Friday, November 16, 2012

Too many clouds makes me crabby.

....but then a clear night without any clouds, still makes me crabby - in a "Crab Nebula" kind of way!  Messier 1 or M1 for short.  I still don't really see a crab in this, but maybe when Charles Messier cataloged this it might have looked like a crab back then.
Clear! (it was about 20 minutes
before this was taken)
This is probably the first "serious" image taken since the new observatory has been put into operation.  I still have some work to do, mainly syncing up the dome and scope so the hole lines up at all times.  More on that later.
I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  The autoguiding was working very well and I only have very minimal star training or "Twinkie" stars as I call them (RIP Twinkies - but know you will always be around ad edible).  I was experimenting with a 30 day trial of some Canon EOS software that I think I really like a lot, it even moves the PHD guider software for auto-dithering.  Pretty nice.
The photo is made up of 9 images taken at f/6.3, ISO 800 and 300 second exposures.  My biggest gripe right now, other than cloudy skies, is the fact that it's been well over a year since I've done any serious imaging (I'm a serious believer in climate change!) since skies have just sucked for a long, long time.  It's been so long that I've forgotten a lot of my processing skills that I learned.  That's really annoying as I sit staring at hot pixels on the screen scratching my head and muttering through clenched teeth "how the **** do I do this again?!"
More to come?  Sure, just a matter of when.

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