Taking the AT6RC tube off and installing the Televue 76mm on the mount changes the game a bit. Lower magnification, wider field, a setup I find more appropriate for Waikoloa skies.
The average seeing in Waikoloa is 2 or 3 arcseconds, or worse… Not the 0.5 arseconds typical at the summit. This leads to mushy stars at higher magnification, fuzzballs rather than pinpoints. Lower magnification sidesteps this problem.
Still using the borrowed ASI2600MC color camera for a few more days, seeing just what it is capable of. The slightly larger sensor is nice and the data easier to process, but still I am seeing limitations that annoy me in the fine details. The color balance is difficult to deal with as well.
I will be going back to the ASI1600MM and filter wheel soon enough. I do need to up my processing game, the software side has changed substantially over the years and I need to transition. Will be giving PixInsight a spin over the next month.
Due to a plan that failed I ended up with a borrowed astro camera for a couple weeks. Since I have it I may as well play with it a bit.
The camera is the ZWO ASI2600MC Pro, a one-shot color camera specificaly for astrophotography. I have the ASI1600MM Pro a monochrome camera set up with a filter wheel, but have never really had a chance to use one of the modern one shot color cameras.
For this mask I used a public bit of OpenSCAD code from Jens Scheidtmann to generate the mask pattern, just tuning it for the correct sizing and performance with the TV-76. I added my own version of the support collar, making it a bit neater with fillets and properly sized to slip over the TV-76 glare shield.
The part is one of a half dozen parts I have designed and printed over the last few weeks to reassemble the photo rig. A new guide camera mount, a mount for the ASI Air computer, a new glare shield for the guider, etc., etc… The utility of 3D printing a game changer for me.
A spate of bad weather followed by the bright moon kept me from imaging the comet until this week. A little late to the game and a fading comet. Still, I did get an image.
The comet is currently high in the evening sky, an easy target. An now that the bright Moon has left the evening sky this week and next represent a last chance to see the comet before it truly begins to fade.
Comet ZTF has faded below 6th magnitude according to recent estimates, too faint for the unaided eye, but still spottable in binoculars and fairly easy to catch in a small telescope. The comet remain well placed to spot for some time to come but will slowly fade, dropping to about 8th magnitude by the end of the month.
Canon 6D with a TeleVue 76mm scope riding on an ZWO AM5 mount. 30 x 180s images processed in DSS. A version processed to remove stars does show a trace of the ion tail.
Normally when I see a partial lunar eclipse on the calendar I do not take much note. As a partial will not create the deep red Moon that makes a lunar eclipse so striking, it is not something that I usually make a point to view.
This eclipse was a bit different. As this was a very deep partial, only a few percent of the Moon remaining in the sunlight, it should look pretty good… And it did. I setup the little TV-76mm scope to snap a few photos.
Even a not quite total lunar eclipse can be quite nice. Since this eclipse occured just a few degrees from the Pleiades star cluster it was possible to frame both in the camera with a wider field of view. Thus I changed to a classic 100mm f/2.8 Canon FD lens to shoot a few of the cluster and the eclipsed Moon.
Of course this means I will get to sleep at midnight and need to get up at 5am for work. The price I will pay for staying up to watch an eclipse.