As expected I hit a few obstacles after leaving my scope in California at the Sierra Remote Observatory. The first was a crashing PC that somehow started acting up right after I left. I ended up replacing this and re-installing all the software. I’m glad I did though, because it hasn’t crashed since (knock knock). Once the computer was stable I worked with the guys at SRO to fix the collimation on the scope. They did a great job with this and I was able to get my first run of images this week. I was tweaking tracking paramaters and setup over a few nights and still have some kinks left to work out, but we are almost there. Here’s my first light image from SRO. Its no APOD, but not to shabby.
NGC 891 is considered an ‘edge-on’ spiral galaxy, which means from our perspective we can only see the side of it. The galactic bulge in the center of the disk is a classic sign of an edge on galaxy. At 30 million light years away, NGC 891 is one of the most famous edge-on spiral galaxies. Its also one of my favorite astrophotography targets. Here are some of my past images of NGC 891 – NGC 891 – December 3rd, 2011 and another shot of NGC 891 on February 7th, 2011.
RGB 60x60x60 Minutes Each
Total exposure: 3 hours
Camera: Apogee U16M
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Auberry, CA
Date: 11/13/2012, 11/14/2012
Software: The SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop