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2013_09_0304

Weather

Looks to be very good tonight.  Low temps in the upper 60s, low humidity to start the night (45%) but increasing throughout the night.  There seems to be a thin bit of haze at sunset so transparency is not perfect.  Seeing is around 2 arcsec at the beginning of the night.  There is a breeze – around 10 mph? – that is causing minor tracking issues.

Rig #1:  Still down for repairs

I should get the declination assembly for the AP1200 mount back on Thursday.  As suspected, another $450, replacing the motor and encoder, and installing a buffer against static discharge.  But now the entire electronics system for the mount has been replaced and/or upgraded, and has brand new motors and encoders with improved circuit protections.  So this really should be the end of it, right?  RIGHT???  Despite the troubles I have to say the support at Astro-Physics is amazingly good.

Rig #2: V1101 Aql and ASAS-SN-13-ck

Early evening target will be V1101 Aql – later will be a new transient likely to be a WZ Sge star, designated ASAS-SN-13ck.  V1101 Aql is in its bright state tonight – so I’ve cut exposure times back to 40 sec.  Even in fairly bright twilight at 40 seconds I’m still getting better than 100 S/N on V1101.

Around 9:00pm I changed to 25-second exposures – still getting S/N of around 150 but going any shorter doesn’t make sense due to the image cycle time.

NELM

Just as an indication of how nice it is tonight – I was able to see nu And. – which is mag 4.5 – about the faintest object I’ve been able to see naked eye.  Of course, I was trying to see M32 – but failed!

A great night!  Out at 4:45am

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