I was finally able to get out and shoot the Moon in color with the ASI078! Looking forward to seeing how the images turn out. Shooting a full disk and a few close ups was my objective.
I set up the G11 with the NP101 on it just as it was getting dark. I noticed that I had already lost Saturn in the trees, and Jupiter wasn’t too far behind. Venus was nowhere to be seen.
After dinner, I went out at about 2015 to polar align and power up. I only used the alignment scope since I was going to be working at focal lengths of 540 mm (prime) and 1350 (2.5x PM). Tracking seemed to be pretty good with minimal manual guiding. Working at shorter focal lengths than I became used to during the summer may have made the guiding workload seem less than it would have at 3000 mm.
It was 40 degrees when went out, and 38 degrees when I came back in at 2145. I didn’t bundle up as much as I would have if I had anticipated more time at the telescope, and I only started getting chilly at the end. I managed to keep my hands warm without heaters.
I had the dew heaters on the objective lens as a precaution, but I don’t think that dew would have formed without the heater. Seeing seemed pretty good, but again, I was working at short focal lengths.
The Moon was about 1.5 hours away from transiting the meridian, and already much higher than Jupiter was at its best over the summer.
I shot close ups first since the 2.5x PowerMate was already in the path. The close ups were not as tight as the ones I was shooting over the summer with the Meade. I hit the northwest terminator, Kepler-Copernicus ejecta fields, Tycho, and maybe one or two other scenes.
I then took out the 2.5x PowerMate to shoot the full disk. The disk nearly fills the frame from top to bottom. I didn’t want to risk loosing part of the disk due to drift artifacts, so I shot it first in an upper half, and a lower half. I’ll stitch the two together in processing. I also tried another single shot of the whole disk to see if I am able to get away from it.
Since power up and target acquisition went smoothly, I don’t have much to work on. Taking the PowerMate off of the setup outside may have let some dust in, so I’ll clean optics before my next session, which I hope can happen in the wee hours of Friday morning when the Moon is nearly fully eclipsed.