12/15/2023 – Witch Head Nebula

Another nice clear night. A little warmer (just a little) with temperatures in the mid-30s. I set out to capture a couple more hours of IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula, to add to the data from my EAA session on 12/14.

Primary (Imaging) Secondary (Guiding)
Scope: SVBONY SV503 102ED, 0.8 Focal Reducer
Filter: None
Camera: ZWO ASI294 MC Pro, Cooled to -10 C
Focuser: ZWO EAF
Mount: Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro
Scope: SVBONY SV106 60mm Guide Scope
Camera: Orion Star Shooter Autoguider (OSSAG)

I uncovered the scope and connected everything up in the late afternoon. Once the Sun set I ran the Ekos Focus Routine and then the Ekos Polar Alignment Routine. Focus was set at 10142 steps. Plate solving calculated the focal length at 569.1 mm (F/5.6). The Polar Alignment was still dead on from the night before. With the scope in focus and aligned I waited till the Witch Head Nebula to rise a little higher in the sky. I started the capture sequence a little after 7 PM. Guiding worked pretty well, but I did adjust the RA Aggressiveness down a little more to 75%, total RMS was steady at 1 for most of the night.

I captured 50 x 180 second exposures at 121 gain, 30 offset, and bin 2×2. That is another 2 1/2 hours of data which I combined with the 2 hours from the previous night. Stacked, cropped, and processed in Siril.
Witch Head Nebula - 90 x 180 seconds processed with Siril
I am still using the flats and darks from the Drunken Dragon, things seems to be calibrating ok.

Some weather is suppose to move in tomorrow morning, it looks like last night was the last clear night for at least the next few nights. Since the winds are suppose to whip up tomorrow I am going to put the scope away for the next few days.

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