10/21/2022 – EAA – CN Challenge Objects and Some Just for Fun

A nice clear night. It started out kind of warm in the mid-to-low 60’s, but the temperature dropped into the upper 40’s quickly after dark. A great night to work through some of the objects on the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge. I had already tested things the night before so I was pretty much ready to start observing right away. Always a good night when the gear is working great and you get to see somethings you have not seen before.

At dusk I uncovered the scope and connected everything up. Once I could see Polaris I checked my visual polar alignment, still looked good. Started the INDI Server and started the Ekos Profile to connect up the gear. Then ran the automatic focus routine in the Ekos Focus Module. The final step position of the EAF after the autofocus was 10239, so just a few steps off of last night. I set the cooling temperature on the ASI294 camera to -15C. There was a lot of moisture in the air but the dew heater did its job keeping the telescope lenses nice and dry.

I should have reshot some flats, but I didn’t. I was just ready to get to EAA observing.

I had set up my guide scope and camera the night before but I did not end up using it. I was tracking well with only 20-30 arcseconds of drift over 5 minutes. I do a capture and solve, slew to target after every 5 minute capture run to reframe and adjust for any drift. Nice round stars and no issues stacking with 30 second exposures.

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. Focus was obtained with the ZWO EAF using the Ekos Focus Module. 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.

NGC 457, the Owl Cluster, an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This is a live stack of 24 x 10 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 457, The Owl Cluster, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
This was my test live stack for the night just to make sure focus was good, goto was working, plate solving was working, my network was performing as expected, and SharpCap live stacking with the folder monitor camera was working without issue. All was well, and it is always great to have a look at the Owl Cluster. That open cluster to the lower right is NGC 436.

NGC 7479 a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus. This is a live stack of 20 x 15 second exposures and 30 x 20 second exposures (total of 15 minutes) at 121 gain, bin 2×2. NGC 7479 is part of the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.
NGC 7479, Spiral Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
A pretty interesting little galaxy, Easy to resolve the two spiral arms wrapping around the core.

NGC 7814 an edge on spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus. This is a live stack of 30 x 20 second exposures and 10 x 30 second exposures (total of 15 minutes) at 121 gain, bin 2×2. NGC 7479 is part of the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.
NGC 7814, Edge on Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
I can just make out the dark dust lane through the center of the galaxy.

M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, in the constellation of Triangulum. This is a live stack of 40 x 30 seconds at 121 gain, bin 2×2. M33 is part of the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.
Messier 33, The Triangulum Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
I have visited the Triangulum Galaxy many times in the past. It looked great during this session, some nice detail and color. Enjoyed looking at it as it stacked up in SharpCap.

NGC 7293, the Helix Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation of Aquarius. This is a live stack of 60 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2. The Helix Nebula is part of the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.
NGC 7293, The Helix Nebula, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
Wow! I am not sure I have ever observed the Helix Nebula before. I did not realize the size of it. Very neat colors and some cool filament details. Glad this one was on this months challenge list. One of my favorites from the night.

NGC 6995, the Eastern Veil Nebula, in the constellation of Cygnus. This is a live stack of 60 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2. The Eastern Veil Nebula is part of the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.
NGC 6995, Eastern Veil Nebula, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
There are 3 regions which make up the Eastern Veil: NGC 6995 in the very center of this frame, NGC 6992 which is the wispy wing off to the left, and IC 1340 which is just up and slightly right of center. The Eastern Veil is only a small part of the much larger Veil Nebula.

NGC 891 is an edge on unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda. This is a live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 891, Edge on Spiral Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
The dust lane across the center of this edge on galaxy is easy to resolve. There are also a lot of other faint galaxies in the frame. Towards the right of the frame near the bright blue star there is a cluster of galaxies, UGC 1841/3C 66B.

NGC 925 a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum. This is a live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 925, Barred Spiral Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
Took a bit to start seeing some of the details in this faint galaxy, but as the 30 second captures live stacked in SharpCap I could start to see the arms. Another favorite of the night.

NGC 1023 a barred lenticular galaxy in the constellation of Perseus. This is a live stack of 20 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
NGC 1023,  Barred Lenticular Galaxy, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
This galaxy is the namesake of the NGC 1023 Group which also includes NGC 925 and NGC 891.

M45, the Pleiades, an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus. This is a live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, bin 2×2.
Messier 45, The Pleiades, Open Cluster, EAA Captured 10/21/2022
I think I got almost all of it in the frame. If not all of it, most of it. Nice blue nebulosity. Barnard’s Merope Nebula, IC 349, is also visible.

During the live stack of M45 I started to see some clouds. I went outside to check the sky and there were a lot of clouds to the east, south, and southwest. I decided to go ahead and pack things in. I put the cover on the scope around 11:30 PM. Had a great night EAA observing. Really enjoyed viewing some of the objects on the CloudyNight’s October 2022 EAA Observing Challenge.

Hoping for another clear night tonight, but it looks like the forecast has changed a bit with some clouds expected and rain tomorrow. We shall see…

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