Sunday, 28 December 2008

How many galaxies can you spot?

Sitting in the control room below the main dome, I was browsing the deep sky software and decided to slew the 20" toward the hitherto unknown (cliché) Pisces Cloud. I went upstairs and visually located NGC 403 and hopped over to the galaxies, which I could see as a few fuzzy patches strung out more or less in a straight line. I stuck the camera on and collected lots of trailed 30 second exposures. This is the current problem with the scope - not that it doesn't know where it is, but something somewhere is causing a quasi-periodic error. I later detrailed these and got 14 reasonable shots that I stacked and aggresively processed. You can see the purple amplifier glow at the bottom right and some headlight/light pollution residual artefact across the picture (taking flat-field images addresses this issue but make the problem worse before they make it better in these circumstances). I think it looks cosmic.

No comments: