Observing Log for Mike Durkin

10/21/2018 9:00PM-11:00PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 35-45 degrees
Equipment: Hutech modified Canon DSLR and 10x50 binoculars

First tested out the Bahtinov mask I bought the day before. This one seemed to work a lot better than the one I used the week before.
Then measured variable stars W Cyg, V1070 Cyg and XY Lyr.

10/20/2018 7:00PM-8:00PM
Stony Brook, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing ?/5
Temperature: about 50-60 degrees
Equipment: various

Stopped by Camera Concepts in Stony Brook where they were doing a public outreach session. Also bumped into a couple of AOSers.
Mainly just looked a little at Saturn and then a quick look at Alberio before we left.

10/14/2018 7:00PM-8:00PM
Clifton Park, Sea Cliff, NY
Transparency: 3/10, Seeing ?/5
Temperature: about 50-60 degrees
Equipment: 127mm Maksutov Cassegrain

An AOS outreach event in Sea Cliff.
The evening was mostly cloudy only with some moments where we could see something. Initialy pointed the telescope of a picture of M31 a few hundred feet across in the park. Saw the moon with plenty of craters. Once in particular on the terminator had central peak, which I think was Theophilus. Also saw Mars quickly before we left. With the 17mm eyepiece, I think I may have even noticed some dark features on the disk of Mars.

10/13/2018 9:00PM-12:00AM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 9/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 45-55 degrees
Equipment: Hutech modified Canon DSLR and new 200mm lens

Another attempt to test out the new 200mm Canon lens. As a target, I selected the area around the Cave Nebular in Cepheus. Initial images look good, will see if things still look good after processing.
One interesting not though about focusing. The Bahtinov mask didn't quite seem to match up with where optimum focus was compared with the live preview. I ended up using the live preview to select the focus point, I'll have to see if I can find any reason why the 70mm Bahtinov mask didn't behave as expected.

Here is the resulting image of the Cave Nebula region:

Cave Nebula region
Cave Nebula region
Camera: Hutech modified Canon T3i
Location: Long Island, NY
Lens: EF200mm II USM, set to f/3.5
Exposure: 320x15 seconds (80 minutes)
Tracking mount: AstroTrac TT320X AG

Processing: calibrated with flat and dark frames. Processed using MaximDL, Photoshop, GradientXTerminator plungin and Astronomy Tools plugin

10/12/2018 10:30PM-11:00PM
Locust Valley, NY
Transparency: 5/10, Seeing ??/5
Temperature: about 50-60 degrees
Equipment: Hutech modified Canon DSLR and new 200mm lens

First chance to try to test out the new 200mm Canon lens. Unfortunately it started to gt cloudy real fast and all I was able to do was to test the focusing. I found out that I should be able to use the same Bahtinov mask that I use for the 70mm Stellarvue refractor.

10/7/2018 7:00PM-9:00PM
Hofstra University, NY
Transparency: 8/10, Seeing 3/5
Temperature: about 60-70 degrees
Equipment: 11 inch SCT

Went to help out the AOS and Professor Don with his Stars on Sunday program.
We looked at Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, the Double Cluster, the Owl cluster and M13.
Jupiter was fairly low on the horizon, so it has a slighly yellow tint to it. We also saw 3 of the moon
I was not able to make out any features on Mars, probablt due to my astigmatism.
Saturn looked very good. A few moons were also visible, although it was interesting that they were aligned up and down rather than left and right.
Uranus and Neptune looked almost the same. A lightly blue tint to it, although seeing Uranus as a disk was more obvious compares to Neptune which was more stellar/pointlike.
Professor Don also asked me to point the telescope to the double cluster. I was only able to fit the core of one of the clusters in the field of view, so I don't think it was quite as impressive.
After the double cluster, I moved to the Owl/ET cluster. The crowd did seem to find that a bit more interesting, although except for the "eyes", some people did have a little trouble seeing the "body" and "arms".
One of the other telescopes also had M13, although it was very faint.
A good ight considering that we expected the sky to be mostly overcast. IN the end it was mostly clear, although the transparency didn't seem to be too good.

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