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Wadsworth Observatory's LX850 blog

Evaluating Meade's LX850 telescope mount

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I guess I’m still in a narrowband mood, even though the Moon isn’t a problem these days. This one is from the FSQ-106N/QSI683WSG-8/LX850 combo. Clouds rolled in before I was finished but I ended up with five ten minute exposures each, H-a and OIII so this will have to do. Larger version at http://astrob.in/116067/0/

 

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Ya know, I think I just shot this one (at five times the focal length) around the last full Moon – and here I am again. Naturally, the gradients from our hazy skies  were horrific. I guess I just enjoy the challenge. I’ll probably clean this one up a bit when my mood improves but here’s what I have so far. The link at the end of this post will go to this version, or to an improved version if I update it later.

FSQ-106N and QSI683WSG-8 on LX850.

6 exposures 7 minutes L, 6 exposures each of 3 minutes R, G, B. I had intended to go longer with the L, but it saturated on skyglow at 8 minutes.

 

http://astrob.in/113993/0/

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I’m in widefield mode for a while and wanted to grab this one before Cygnus gets away for the season. 70 minutes each Ha and OIII

Larger at http://astrob.in/113921/0/

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Next-to-last image with the Meade for this season.

12″ Meade LX850, QSI683WSG-8

Six exposures of seven minutes each R,G,B.

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This was the last capture before tearing things down to permit sending in the outboard SCT focuser for service. I’ll be using the FSQ-106N until I get that sorted.

 

Twelve exposures of ten minutes each L, nine exposures of five minutes each R,G,B.

 

 

undermountedUndermounted? ; )

The LX850 is breathing a sigh of relief after being unburdened of the 12″ SCT. It’s been replaced for now with the FSQ-106N. Dunno what that weighs (it is VERY heavy for a 4″ F/5 telescope) but it’s obviously much less than the Meade.

I’m winding down on the long focal length stuff. The aftermarket add-on focuser I use on the Meade needs to go in for service so I’ll be switching to the FSQ-106N for a while. I still have a couple of images captured with the Meade to post but those will be the last until I get both telescopes set up side by side.

 

 

 

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Finally had some decent seeing last night. No deconvolution or sharpening required. Starlock did a great job at .88 arcseconds/pixel. 8  exposures of ten minutes each Ha and OIII, artificial green channel. I will tone the red down when time permits but here’s what I have so far.

 

More at http://astrob.in/112019/0/

Some content is still being transferred (Classifieds, Gallery, attachments, others) but forum posts and forum structure are in place. System speed is up and down as  ongoing content transfers tie up varying resources so be a little patient about that and all will be well.

 

www.cloudynights.com

I refer to the terrific www.cloudynights.com website, the premier astronomy website with articles, reviews, classified ads, and a huge discussion board (about 77,000 members last time I checked!). Many folks will remember when we rolled out CN 2.0 to update the aging and difficult-to-maintain original software (in use on CN for over ten years). Thinking that folks wanted a new, modern look we didn’t make much effort to maintain the fit and feel of the original setup. There was a very substantial backlash and loads of complaints so it was rolled back to the original system while a more suitable replacement package was found, obtained, and configured. That’s been going on in the background ever since. Testers report a much more comfortable transition, with much of the original fit and feel maintained while still adding useful functionality.

It’s going to take time to transfer the huge databases (ten years worth of content) into the new structure – and, of course, any traffic added during the transition would just confuse things.

 

Here’s the plan. Some  inactive content is being converted right now while the old system continues to operate. The old system will go dark this weekend while the bulk of the conversion takes place.  Barring unforeseen complications, the new site should be up by Monday morning. Same URL, same usernames, same passwords. Just use your old account.

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Finally – another RGB image. Narrowband filters won’t help with this one. It’s very dim. I just wanted to see what could be done with it from my urban location. It isn’t great, but it’s much better than I expected! Seven five minute exposures each R, G, B (no time for L on a work night). Usual gear; 12″ LX850, QSI683WSG-8.

 

Larger version: http://astrob.in/109041/B/