Some beautiful nights…

This week has been great for our (Marci and I) budding astronomy hobby. A few things have happened. First, I hand dug a flat spot into a hillside on our property where the views are best:

diggin’ a hole…

Second, some new equipment. A guide scope and camera to make polar alignment less painful, and also to improve our tracking for future astrophotography endeavors.

On Monday 10/21/2019 Marci and I set up and randomly picked objects to look at. It was a beautiful night with good viz. Marci generated a random astronomy target selector using some iphone app she found which ultimately landed us on something we hadn’t seen before, namely NGC253 the “Sculptor Galaxy”. It was pretty dim in the eyepiece but an awesome sight, and we agreed we should definitely try and image it as one of our first objects.

And then yesterday, Wednesday 10/23/2019 I brought some building blocks together to the point where we were able to do some basic imaging. I polar aligned using sharpcap and our new guiding gear, and used Backyard Nikon to control Marci’s D810. The entire thing was off the cuff since we had no experience, but we imaged the Pleiades, M33 Andromeda Galaxy, and Milky Way. None of these images are great, but given this was a first, off the cuff attempt, we couldn’t be more pleased!

Andromeda
Milky Way

This hobby continues to reward me with a unique sense of awe. We are equally significant (because we are curious and want answers) and insignificant (because we are such a small subset of the universe). Both are wonderful feelings I am happy to share.

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