Bolton Astronomical Society

The first night of the "winter"?
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Author:  rwilkinson [ Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  The first night of the "winter"?

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! :roll:

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...

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