Starlogbook 12 January 2012
Location In de Garden, Elensterweg 26, Ulrum, The Netherlands
Temperature -2 degrees Celsius.
The last time, I used the telescope, was on the 16th of October 2012. I wanted to open the roof in order to use the telescope, but it got stuck. However, after a few trials, I was able to open it. Then I wanted to use the 90 degree angle mirror, but this one was dirty. So I had to clean it well. I thought, that I was now ready for viewing. As it was freezing, my laptop started to freeze and then the screen stops to show / shine. I installed a small heater and then indeed I was able to watch the stars.
20.30 Going to the observatory
21.10 The scope was directed to Jupiter. The cloud bands on Jupiter were easily viewable. Also the colours of the cloud bands were viewable at 60 x and 140 times magnification. Right away I informed my wife and parents in law about the beauty of Jupiter. The four Jupiter moons were brightly shining. Later on I will have another look at Jupiter.
21.45 I installed the Orion camera on the scope. I made a picture of Messier 42, a gas cloud in constellation Orion. It worked out well. I was able to have the camera open for about 40 seconds. My scope is a Meade LX 200 and this type is not so good in following stars for taking pictures. So I am happy to get this far.
22.40 Looking at M 42 (Messier) without the camera at 60 x and 140 x magnification. The gas clouds are easily viewable.
22.50 Looking at M 43, close to M 42.
23.00 Going to look at open star cloud NGC 1981. I was able to see stars to magnitude 11.6.
23.10 M 78 seen.
23.12 IC 434, Horsehead nebula tried to see. However, it was not possible to see it.
23.20 Jupiter again. Looked at it at different magnifications. The positions of the moons had changed to the 21.10 observation.
00.35 Pit stop due to wet cold weather. Dressed warmer. When I came back in the observatory, Jupiter was still in view in my scope. That is good equipment.
00.45 I was able to see the Beehive (M44) bare eyed. After that, I viewed it by scope. I looks like a basket of diamonds.
00.55 I changed the scope directing to Tania Australis, a star in Big Dipper. Realigned the scope anew.
01.20 To NGC 3184, a galaxy. I cannot see it by eye and scope. I install the camera and try it again. I could see stars at magnitude 14.7 at 80 seconds camera opening. At 200 seconds I could see a weak spiral galaxy. I made three pictures of 200 seconds and added them . The spiral galaxy was even better to see. The distance to it is not exactly clear. Some say 25 million light years and others say 40 light years.
02.10 Now I went to look at M 101, the Pinwheel galaxy. I tried to photograph it at 80 seconds and I saw a silhouette of it. Then I tried it at 200 seconds. The starts in the pictures stayed point like. So that is good. I made three pictures and added them up. The Pinwheel galaxy stays at a 21 million light years.
02.40 As it is very cold, I close the roof and go to sleep.