The sun never sets on the shed

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The sun never sets on the shed

Postby rwillits » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:46 am

We found this nice house on Airbnb. It is eight miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona and at an elevation of 7,300 feet (2,225 meters). We rented it for three weeks. Flagstaff is a dark-sky city. Behind me, where I took this picture, is a housing community with no street lights and no yard lights. The sky is black. September is the best time of year for clear nights there and this year was no exception. There where so many bright stars that it was difficult to find the constellations.

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I loaded my (not so mini) minivan with four telescopes, three mounts, computers, adapters, cables, cords, velcro strapping, lots of stuff and drove to Flagstaff. Mary and I met Marje and Julian who flew from Manchester. Julian brought his two QSI cameras and laptop computers.

Because we wanted to have the computers inside and because the deck was so wide, we had to set up on the (not so solid) wooden deck. I thought it would be a challenge to use someone else's kit, but Julian put it all together in short order. because Julian's cameras with a filter wheel are a bit heavier than my camera, we needed to make only one trip the the hardware store to devise a counter weight.

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I did bring a fourth mount (an older Celestron SE5), a 90 mm mak and a few eye pieces. We where at 35˚latitude and the planets where high enough for good viewing and I thought that the ladies would like to see them. Instead, the ladies used the 90 mm to watch the prairie-dogs (quite entertaining) and went down the road a piece to Lowell Observatory and the staff there where quite happy to let them look at Saturn through the famous Alvan Clark 24" refractor.

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We had one clear night after another, so no complaining about the weather. The mounts are the American version of SkyWatcher. Black, not white. We did have some tracking issues. The first week Julian operated two telescopes and I did one. One is all that I am able to handle. The last week and a half we used two telescopes because of the tracking issues. Of the four telescopes two where 600mm and two where 390mm.

A few weeks before the trip I won, at an Astronomy conference, a HyperStar for a Celestron C8. The only problem was that I didn't own a Celestron C8. I bit the bullet and bought a Celestron C8, an adapter, a top rail for the guider and an appropriate camera (QHY 163m). My winnings only cost me $2,000.00. Julian helped me set it up and it worked quite well at 390mm.

We imaged the same targets and Julian combined our images. Julian did 100% of the processing. I just imaged and handed Julian the flash drive. He did everything. This was a great trip for me. Julian did all the hard stuff. "Be Kind to Old People Month".

The ladies had a trip planned for every day. It took us three trips to tour the south rim of the Grand Canyon. we toured the Lowell Observatory. Meteor Crater National Monument, several ruins, lots of canyons and desert.

These are finished and not finished images. there are two not processed yet. The Pelican is all imaged and processed by Julian. I fell asleep more than a few times. The final photos will be found under julianr on AstroBin when they are complete. julian knows where they are.

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Isn't this fun. :)

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby thymelord » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:12 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby redtail » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:25 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby galileo » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:46 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby carastro » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:48 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby Bill_P » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:05 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby julianr » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:47 am

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby markjob » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:10 pm

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby Aussiedave » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:15 pm

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Re: The sun never sets on the shed

Postby pixelsaurus » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:12 pm

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