Last night I set up my comet-imaging system for the first time in three months: when I powered up the mount, I noticed that it had last been set on the evening of 8th June (when it had been carrying my C8 for imaging Mars & Saturn), but I'd not had my 80ED refractor out since mid-May.
I had one false-start with my polar alignment: my new polar-scope gives a much brighter image than its predecessor, so I was briefly fooled by a "false Polaris" in the twilight! But then I soon did my alignment and focussing (with Bahtinov mask) on Deneb and Caph and slewed to the expected position of comet C/2016 A8 LINEAR. My first 60-sec exposure showed no comet, but instead a bright set of aircraft-lights right across the diagonal - not an auspicious start!
As it was already 10:15, I didn't feel like setting up my experimental Pi-Guider, so I just ran with 90-sec unguided exposures for half an hour before a cloud-belt rolled in. Then the following morning I processed the images and found that I had recorded the comet (my 60th) at its expected position:
Here's hoping that after all the poor weather in the last 12 months, we get a good run of clear nights this winter...
Blog the previous nights viewing. Link to images on the gallery or simply describe what you observed the night before. Leave the technical and howto in another forum.
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