Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Packing for GSSP 2015

Packing Heavy

The Golden State Star Party 2015 is just a handful of hours away and I've spent much of the day packing the Prius.

As mentioned before, I use my 2004 Prius as a power source for my astrophotography.  This means that I use the car for all the 12V needs, as it provides an efficient, regulated source of 13.8V at the accessory battery.  The main high voltage battery keeps the accessory system running while the car is in "idle" and will turn on the internal combustion engine about once every 20-30 minutes, depending on drain and local temperature.  Thus, I have a virtually unlimited power source on site.

This power source is great, however, it's limited on space.

M13 in Progress

Practicing for GSSP in the backyard with M13

I setup the scope for the first time in a few months to work out the kinks and run some tests.  From June 28 to July 2, I grabbed some subs on M13.

Subs were about 10 minutes each for Lum, R, G, and B.  Lum was with the IDAS filter.

GSSP 2015 Weather

Looking great!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Collimation Results

As noted earlier, I found that the SV4 focuser had slipped because the grub screws were not very tight.  Thus, I recollimated by using a laser tool.

Over two nights I centered and then tested the collimation with star tests.  To eliminate nebulosity being a problem for star detection, I used the Ha Continuum filter as a star field.


It could be done a bit better.  The challenge is that the flange around the end of the scope is pitted from previous grub screw use.  I wrapped this flange with some teflon tape to help smooth the surface to avoid the adjustment being compromised.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pax Occults Star at GSSP

Blotting out the Stellar View

As seen on the Golden State Star Party facebook page, the asteroid Pax will pass through the path of light from a star, causing a drop of 3 magnitudes.

Should be an interesting event to see and possibly record.

All content from the Asteroid Occultation page, I'm linking it here to make it easier to remember.

Preparing for GSSP 2015

GSSP 2014 

Back to the High Country

This year's Golden State Star Party is held on the week of July 15-19 at the usual spot, Frosty Acres near Adin, CA.  I'm excited about getting out under the stars for an extended time.  Last year had the rain and clouds with a final night that was wonderful.

This year, the fun begins a little earlier as my niece Rebecca will be visiting for two weeks.  She's come out to California in the past when she had a gap year between high school and college.  During that time, she went up to Montebello for stargazing and apparently enjoyed the idea enough that she agreed to go to GSSP.