It was indeed clear this morning, just as “Clear Outside” predicted.. a little colder than predicted however… -15C this time.
The telescope handbox stays in the warm house before going outside and does not suffer from garbage displays and the need to power restart the scope without parking, messing up the alignment… so far so good.
The observatory roof was frozen shut… It was warm enough Thursday to melt some of the snow on the roof, which went down the north colder wall and froze the bits together. A little 4am pounding got it loose and opened.
The moon phase was 63% (where is an easy source of lunar age? stellarium only shows %) and about 25 degrees away from Jupiter.
Focus was done visually on Jupiter itself at regular exposure.. there were no moons nearby to use.
The new ASCOM drivers were installed a couple of weeks ago and I think this was the first time using them. Firecapture fired up and was able to connect to the scope for manual and autoguiding purposes, but handyavi starting up causes the scope to start high speed slewing in RA, even when the program was shut down, killed off and did not stop until the scope power was pulled. There goes the alignment
A reminder that I need to test Handyavi all by itself to see what is messing up. I like to use it because it has remote focus control… firecapture does not.. or at least I haven’t found it yet.
Powered back up, manually slewed to Jupiter and sync’d.. waited a minute, guided, and sync’d again. That was enough to keep it tracking well enough for me to manually guide over time. I was able to go back inside, fire up VNC to remotely connect to the laptop in the observatory and attempt to guide it. VNC did not seem responsive enough for mouse clicks, so I shut that down and instead went to chrome remote desktop, which was better on the mouse clicks over the virtual hand controller for guiding.
There were 26 imaging runs that worked.. the last two did not. The first was 30seconds and autoalign turned off, the second was 30 seconds and autoalign turned on. The remainder were 120 seconds, the max at fl4000mm/f20 before Jupiters rotation moved across the pixels.
This uses the best 10% of the images in each run.. you can really notice the pixelation in the first two 30 second exposures, which works out to about 67/672 images used. The remained 10 second exposures were about 270/2685 images used.
I’ve also changed the aspect ratio and pixel size of the cropped images from 400×400 to 400×420 (a little taller) in order to get more of the annotation text inside of a 4″x6″ print.. the last time some got cut off.
First to last runs were about 50 minutes elasped… and some cloud was coming in as well.
Looking forward to much warmer temperatures this weekend.