Harney, MD

Farm VI with Doug Biernacki May 17-18, 2023

This was my first opportunity to work on DSO imaging under a dark sky since Winter Star Party in February. I was able to build on what I had learned there, and at home under light polluted skies at home to have a pretty decent result.

One of my primary objectives on this trip was to determine if light polluted skies where the source of a flat frame calibration problem that I have been workinhg on, and since the problem persisted, I concluded that light pollution is not the source of the problem. The target for this test was the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

The forecast was for a transparent sky with poor seeing. It turns out that the sky was not quite as transparent as the forecast suggested. Some HAL members reported the same observation, and one suggested that the reduced transparency was due to Canadian wildfires.

Interestingly, every trip to the Farm before this one has be fraught with dew. The forecast was for low humidity, and there was not a drop of dew. Observed conditions were 36% humidity, reaching a high of 52% overnight. Before this trip I had surmised that the Farm was an inherently flawed location for astronomy due to the close proximity of the Monocacy River.

The temperature was down to a brisk 35 degrees overnight, but the camper was a welcome respite from the cold.

Astronomy at the Farm VI - 2023-05-18 0937 Local
Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) - 2023-05-17
Whirlpool Galaxy
Markarian's Chain - 2023-05-17 - Partial Capture
Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies

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