Saturday night was a very nice clear night with temperatures in the mid-70s and a the humidity was a bit lower than it has been. Just a nice night overall and the best clear night sky we have had in a very long time. I uncovered the scope around 8 PM and tested all my connectivity. I shot a set of flats at ADU 8192 and then a set of 30 second darks with the camera cooled to 10 C.
Once it was dark enough, just after 9 PM, I checked focus and plate solving. The ZWO EAF is at 7814 steps and the focus is pretty spot on. Plate solving is calculating the focal length at 699.4 and the focal ratio at F/6.9. Then I ran the Ekos Polar Alignment Routine, first on the West side of the mount and then again on the East side of the mount. I was able to get my Polar Alignment dialed into single digit seconds of error for both alt and az.
The EAA images in this post were capture with my ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled to 10 C through my SVBONY SV503 102ED Scope with a UA adjustable field flattener. The SV503 is focused using a ZWO EAF and the Ekos Focus Module. All gear is mounted on a Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro. Guiding with an Orion Starshoot Autoguider (OSSAG) attached to a SV106 60mm guide scope. The mount and cameras are remotely controlled with KStars/Ekos with INDI Server running on a Libre SBC. The images were live stacked using SharpCap Pro. Images have been resized (80% of original) and/or cropped for file size but otherwise appear just as I observed them.
NGC 6960, the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus. NGC 6960 is CloudyNight’s August 2023 EAA Observing Challenge Object. This is an EAA live stack of 60 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
NGC 6995, IC 1340, and NGC 6992, part of the Veil Nebula supernova remnant known as the Eastern Veil in the constellation of Cygnus. This is an EAA live stack of 60 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
NGC 6995 is also known as the Bat Nebula is in the center, NGC 6992 “flows” off to the lower right, and IC 1340 is the faint region just down and to the left of center. These supernova remnants along with NGC 6960 and a few others form the Cygnus Loop.
IC 5070, the Pelican Nebula, an H II region and emission nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. This is an EAA live stack of 50 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
Messier 71 (M71) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Sagitta. This is an EAA live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
I had 8 Messier Objects left to EAA capture for my Messier Log. I had a try at all of them but M71 was the only one that was not behind a tree, so now there are just 7 left. These 7 that remain are really low in the southern sky and there are some trees in my backyard which are in the way. I am probably going to have to set up in a different place to be able to capture them. I’ll get my Messier Log with M71 updated later.
NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. This is an EAA live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
Messier 31 (M31), the Andromeda Galaxy, in the constellation of Andromeda. This is an EAA live stack of 30 x 30 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2.
M110 is the galaxy to the lower right and M32 is the small galaxy off to the left. M31 is… well the giant galaxy right in the center 🙂
At 12:30 AM on 08/20/2023 I parked mount and covered the scope. It was a great night for EAA observing after what seems to be forever with a mostly cloudy Summer. Really enjoyed the views and tinkering with the gear. Had a lot of fun!
I ordered a Solar Filter for the SV503 and it should be here later this week… so stay tuned for some day time shots…