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New Mexico Pics - 2011

 left - M31  5x 3 minute exposures stacked taken with Canon XTi and 300
mm Olympus lens on Sept 19, 2011  unfortunately there are 2 satellite tracks
through the image. Click to see larger version.
 Right - double cluster  5x 3 minute exposures stacked taken with Canon XTi and 300
mm Olympus lens on Sept 19, 2011  Click to see larger version.
 left - Comet Garradd - 5x 3 minute exposures stacked taken with Canon XTi and 300
mm Olympus lens on Sept 19, 2011.  Click to see larger version. 
  I am headed down in a couple of weeks taking a boatload of new/used equipment with me.  I set up this page for this years pics.  I couldn't pass up this one taken by the front window webcam this morning.
We had an "Air Force" flyby that was caught on the webcam.   It is either a Klingon battle cruiser or a hawk searching for lunch depending on how much you believe in Roswell aliens.....  If you look very carefully there is a 2nd hawk in the upper left blue sky apparently hunting down by my neighbor's house.

New equipment for NM:

1. 10" Orion OTA (lunar & DSO photography)
2. Losmandy G11 mount
3. Dob platform for the 14" T-scope (to be delivered down there - lunar and planetary photography). 

Temps down there are mighty hot right now.  The monsoons have yet to show. (Lows needs to be in west Texas.  That gives inbound air flow from the south east which brings Gulf moisture to AZ and NM.)


 The Orion 10" and G11 Losmandy mount made it down without difficulty.  The Orion barely changed collimation in the 1050 mile drive.  I bought a Telegizmo 365/7 day a week cover for it and it sits out there all day waiting for night. 
 It saw first light last night Aug 7, and I took a few pics and worked the bugs out. The moon was only at a 30 degree altitude so it was looking through a lot of atmosphere, but I got a few decent pics.  One is shown below taken with a 2x barlow.  The atmosphere could not support the 4x barlow and those were not so good.

 This is our typical afternoon sky for the last several weeks.  However today (Aug 8) it was clear and heated up to >95 deg.  I holed up in my air-conditioned room all afternoon. To the left is a sunset from several days ago.  Rain was falling and the sun was lighting it up as it set.  That is a view I hadn't seen before.  It has been a fairly cloudy monsoon so far, but when the clouds are here the temperature stays down so they are welcome til sunset. 

 August 20, 2011 --Oh what a night.....I dragged myself from a warm cozy bed at 4:30 AM to get some decent pics of the moon using the Orion 10"  (Its second light.)  Instead of a moon at 30 degrees altitude, this waning gibbous moon was sailing at 72 degrees above the horizon.  I took pics til the sun came up, and got some of the best photos I have taken yet.  I will be posting a few as I get them processed (and reprocessed; I keep squeezing more out).  This is the 1st time that the 4x powermate gave truly sharp images.  On the right is what the moon looked like that night; pretty much the opposite half of what I usually get.
4x Powermate Barlow: This is easily the best image of Clavius that I have ever taken.  Processed in AVIstack 2.0 and
sharpened with L.R deconvolution and a little wavelets.
 4x Powermate Barlow:This is easily the best Copernicus picture I have taken.  Both the Clavius and Copernicus pics were taken using the 4x Powermate barlow Click the image to get full resolution.  This is the first time the 4x has been put to good use.  I have the 1.25" 5x powermate but have never gotten seeing that would allow it to work.  I guess I should have gotten it out this night. 
 4x Powermate Barlow: Moretus & Short & Newton.  A nice image of the southernmost tip of the moon.
 4x Powermate Barlow:  This is what  I got up for.  I finally got a decent picture of Reiner Gamma.
I found the streaky white stuff north of it very interesting.Is that some sort of splash from it?
 2x Powermate Barlow:  Since the 4x is usually too much power, I started with the 2x powermate and got some wonderful wider views.  This is the area showing Eratostenes up through Aristillus and includes the Apennine Mtns.  
  2x Powermate Barlow:  While more wide field, this is still my best shot of Davy Catena
and the straight wall along with almost everything else in the photo.

I took 26 pictures from 4:30 AM to 6:30 AM and am still processing many of them.  All were 90
seconds (2700 frames) using the Canon 500D and EOS movie record.  This was 2nd light with the
Orion 10"    The early bird apparently does get the worm.