EAA – 06/04/2022 – CN June 2022 Observing Challenge…

I uncovered the scope in the late afternoon and hoped for the sky to clear, it mostly did. Mostly clear night, a few high thin clouds moving quickly across the sky, temperatures in the lower 70s. My plan was to hunt for objects from the CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge. I was able to see quite a few of them on this months challenge list. I had also hoped to get a couple Messiers for the log, but did not end up with any new ones.

I added a SVBONY 2″ IR/UV Cut filter to the threaded end of the SV193 focal reducer. I think this helps a bit with bloating of stars. It looks like I was able to get a little better focus using the IR/UV cut filter, not a whole lot better, but stars do look a bit sharper. Since I added the IR/UV Cut Filter I reshot my flats at the beginning of the session.

I also took a few minutes to dial in the guide scope camera focus. I did not end up guiding but the focus is good and locked in for next time.

I had an issue with the mount after the first couple objects. Not sure what caused it, but I reset the mount, reset the indi-server, redid the quick align, and reconnected Ekos. After that things worked fine for the rest of the night.

These EAA images were capture with my ZWO ASI294MC Pro through my SVBONY SV503 102ED scope with 0.8 Focal Reducer and a SVBONY IR/UV Cut filter. The images were live stacked using SharpCap Pro. The mount and cameras are remotely controlled with KStars/Ekos/INDI running on an Astroberry Raspberry Pi. The images have been resized and/or cropped for file size but otherwise appear just as I observed them.

M106 an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. M106 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 30 x 10 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
M106 - Galaxy - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022M106 - Galaxy - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
There are a few faint galaxies in the frame. An interesting one is the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4217, at the top just right of middle.

M13 a globular cluster of several hundred thousand stars in the constellation of Hercules. M13 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 30 x 10 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
M13 - Globular Cluster - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
The spiral galaxy NGC 6207 can also be resolved. It is about halfway between M13 and the top right corner.

Planetary Nebula NGC 6210 in the constellation Hercules. NGC 6210 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 30 x 10 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 6210 - Planetary Nebula - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
It is the small bluish/greenish orb in the center of the FOV.

NGC 6946, the Fireworks Galaxy, a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy located between the constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus. NGC 6946 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 6946 - Galaxy - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
NGC 6946 is called the Fireworks Galaxy due to the number of supernova which have been observer in the galaxy. Ten supernova have been observed in the 20th and early 21st century. There is also a nice open cluster, NGC 6939, in the lower right of the FOV.

NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula, an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus. NGC 6888 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
There were a few thin clouds which passed through as I was observing this. I was pretty surprised when I was able to resolve the nebula. One of my favorites of the night.

CR-399 or Collinder 399, Brocchi’s Cluster or the Coathanger, in the constellation Vulpecula. Cr 399 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 20 x 15 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
CR 399 - Open Cluster - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
Did not get all the star of the Coathanger in the FOV. The two bright yellow stars make up the “hook” of the coat hanger are easy to see and most of the of the blue stars make up the hanger are there.

NGC 5576, NGC 5577, and NGC 5574 in the constellation of Virgo. These three galaxies are CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge objects. This is a live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
Virgo Trio - NGC 5574. NGC 5576, NGC 5577 - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/04/2022
NGC 5566, NGC 5560, and NGC 5569 (ARP 28) also known as the Virgo Trio is visible in the upper left of the frame. Here is the SharpCap Deep Sky Annotated image with all of these identified.
Virgo Trio SharpCap Annotation 06/04/2022

After midnight, so now it is 06/05/2022.

IC 5146, the Cocoon Nebula, a reflection and emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus. IC 5146 is a CloudyNights’ June 2022 EAA Observing Challenge object. This is a live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
IC 5146 - The Cocoon Nebula - CN Observing Challenge June 2022 - EAA 06/05/2022
I had some issues with high thin clouds early on in this live stack but it did clear up. I am going to make a plan to spend some time in Cygnus next session and revisit IC 5146, NGC 6888, and a few other interesting nebulas there.

NGC 6960, the Veil Nebula, a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. This is a live stack of 20 x 15 second exposures combined with 30 x 20 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 6960 - The Veil Nebula - EAA Capture 06/05/2022
This was not on the CN challenge or part of my observing plan but I was in Cygnus and it was getting late so I decided to end my session on the Veil.

When I went out to pack up the scope around 1 AM it was a fair bit cooler (mid-50s) than earlier in the night and a there was a coat of dew on everything (except the the scope lens – the dew heater was doing its dew heating thing). A great EAA session and this month’s CN Challenge list was a lot of fun.

Next session I’ll probably revisit some of the nebula in Cygnus. I’ll try to get guiding working to see if I can get a bit longer exposures. Clear skies all!

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