Observing Report – 2023-02-14 – WSP Night 2/Visual Targets

While my objectives for this session were to image an easy target early as a warm up for Omega Centauri at culmination, the weather forced me to resort to limited binocular observations instead. The sky was about 50% cloud covered with fast moving clouds, and the winds were 15 to 20mph. Temperature was in the low 70s and dew did not appear on anything.

I added the ASI6200 to the G11/NP101 after dinner. Power up and connecting software to devices went flawlessly. Winds did not seem to affect the polar alignment, and I was able to obtain a sharp diffraction pattern for focusing the main camera. I was not able to focus the guide camera, because wind buffeting the scope created a large blob in the long exposure PHD images. That was as far as I made it with the telescope.

While waiting out the winds during the evening, I scanned the sky with the binoculars. Nothing serious, but decided to shut down at 2230 and nap until 0330 in hopes that conditions would permit an opportunity to image the Omega Centauri Cluster near culmination, which is about 15 degrees elevation for this location.

The wind was still blowing pretty hard at 0330 and cloud cover was slightly diminished. Either the wind or the clouds would have prevented a viable imaging session. The waxing crescent moon was at about 25% illumination, but should not have been a problem for imaging Omega Centauri.

Using binoculars, I observed Omega Centauri. From there and with your help I was able to star hop my way down to see the northernmost three stars of Crux popping in an out of the clouds low on the horizon. The southernmost star had not yet set, but was too far down in the muck to be seen. I was also able to locate Apha and Beta Centauri via star hopping from Omega Centauri.

While scanning Scorpius, which was close to the moon, I was not able to see the False Comet Nebula, but Tali al Shaula I and II caught my eye. This pair never ascends very high above the horizon at home, so I have not observed it before. I am interested in reading about it, and perhaps imaging it on another night.

There are no telescope/equipment issues to be resolved before the next session. I would like to set up the 60Da on the tracker to image some constellations of conditions permit.

Leave a Reply