Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spring 2019 - a break in the clouds

Finally, there's been a break in this rainy season.  California has had a lot of extra precipitation this year and that's a great thing.  However, the continuous cloud cover has put a damper on any astro activity.

It's been clear since Monday night and I've had the chance to finally set up the scope in the back yard for a little bit of fiddling.

As usual, I'm using VNC to connect to the shed, allowing a monitor of progress.

This is the QSI 583 with the Pentax 67 200mm lens.

I've been looking at the logs from the past night and notice something interesting:

The FWHM of the stars really shows a lot of bloat when using the light pollution filter (seen here as LP).  I have a hunch that if I want to use this setup in suburban skies, only RGB filters should be used and save Luminance for when out of town. 

Note the focus positions for each filter:

What's new is that I added a red-dot sight to the body of the camera, making it easier to start the night's imaging.  Also, I added a proper dew strap.

I've also added the QHY Polemaster to my collection.  I'm surprised at how easy it is to use and think of the lost dark skies at GSSP and Calstar where I've spent hours doing drift alignment.