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.
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