09/16/2022 – EAA – A Great Night Looking Around Cassiopeia

A nice cool, in the mid-60s, and clear night. A bit hazy, but not too bad overall. My plan for this session was to revisit some of the objects on the CloudyNight’s September 2022 EAA Observing Challenge list and to see what I could see in Cassiopeia and the surround areas. Unlike my last EAA session earlier this month where I had nothing but problems, during this session everything seemed to just work.

I uncovered the scope early in the afternoon. Once it was dark I did a visual polar alignment through the polar scope and manually focused using the Ekos Focus Module. SharpCap has been updated and is now reading the FITS files from Ekos/INDI. I shot new flats and darks using Ekos and SharpCap.

My polar alignment was pretty good. I had planned to run the polar alignment routine in Ekos to dial it in a bit, but I was excited to get observing so I didn’t.

The EAA images in this post were capture with my ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled to -15 C 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 (80% of original) and/or cropped for file size but otherwise appear just as I observed them.

Open Cluster M52 in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This was my test object and the views were nice. Lots of stars and color.
Live stack of 60 x 10 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
M52, Open Cluster, EAA Captured 09/16/2022
In the lower left of the frame I was able to resolve NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, so I decided to center it in the frame and have a go at it.

NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, an emission nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. I could really start to see the bubble shape after just a couple minutes of exposures.
Live stack of 60 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 7635, The Bubble Nebula, EAA Captured 09/16/2022
I have not observed the Bubble Nebula before, but really enjoyed the view of it during this session. M52 is up and to the right in the frame.

NGC 7380, open cluster and the Wizard Nebula, in the constellation of Cepheus. NGC 7380 is on the September 2022 CloudyNight’s EAA Challenge list.
Live stack of 60 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 7380, The Wizard Nebula, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
I am seeing a little bit of detail in the nebula but I am not quite getting Wizard yet. I should have increased the exposure time or grabbed a few more exposures, but that will be for another night.

NGC 457, the Owl Cluster, an open cluster in the constellation of Cassiopeia. NGC 457 is on the September 2022 CloudyNight’s EAA Challenge list.
Live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 457, The Owl Cluster, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
The Owl Cluster is still one of my favorites.

IC 10 is an irregular galaxy in the constellation of Cassiopeia. IC 10 is a member of our local group and is between 2 and 4 million light years from Earth. IC 10 is on the September 2022 CloudyNight’s EAA Challenge list.
Live stack of 60 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
IC 10, Irregular Galaxy, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
IC 10 is faint, but it is resolvable. Caught a group of satellites (starlink?) in the left of the frame.

NGC 869 and NGC 884, the Double Cluster, two open clusters in the constellation of Perseus. The Double Cluster is on the September 2022 CloudyNight’s EAA Challenge list.
Live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 884 and NGC 869, The Double Cluster, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
The open cluster NGC 869 is in the top of the frame and the cluster NGC 884 is on the bottom. The double cluster is also a favorite of mine. Enjoyed observing this one visually before getting into EAA. So much to see with the white, blue, yellow, and red stars.

NGC 663, NGC 654, and NGC 659, three open clusters in the constellation of Cassiopeia.
Live stack of 40 x 15 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 663, NGC 654, and NGC 659, Open Clusters, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
NGC 663 is in the center of the frame, NGC 659 is down and to the left of center, and NGC 654 is down and to the right of center.

M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, in the constellation of Andromeda. This is the first time I have EAA observed M31 with the SV503 102ED and the ZWO ASI 294MC Pro. WOW!
Live stack of 60 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
M31, The Andromeda Galaxy, M32 and M110, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
Best views I have had of the dust lanes in M31 and starting to get some details in the outer arms. There are two other galaxies which are easily resolved in this image: M32 is to the left and M110 is in the lower right.

M33, Triangulum Galaxy, in the constellation of Triangulum.
Live stack of 60 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
M33, The Triangulum Galaxy, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
NGC 604 is resolvable in one of M33’s spiral arms just up and to the right of the galaxy core. Caught some more satellites, think these are the same ones I got earlier in the IC 10 capture, at least they kind of look like the same.

NGC 281, the Pacman Nebula, in the constellation of Cassiopeia.
Live stack of 45 x 20 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
NGC 281, The Pacman Nebula, EAA Capture 09/16/2022
Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp…

IC 59 and IC 63 reflection and emission nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia.
Live stack of 15 x 20 second and 20 x 30 second exposures, 121 gain, Bin 2×2.
IC 59 and IC 63, Emission Nebula, EAA Capture 09/17/2022
IC 59 is very faint but I can just make out the nebula. IC 63, the ghost of Cassiopeia, is brighter and easier to resolve just up and to the left of center.

Turned out to be a great night. All the gear worked. Polar alignment was good, slew were accurate, focus was decent, software worked, and the views were great. Lots of dew but the dew heaters did their job keeping the objectives clear.

I packed up and covered the gear around 12:45 AM. It is suppose to be clear again tonight, looking forward to looking up some more.

I ordered a ZWO EAF and should have it sometime next week. Looking forward to trying it out.

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