"Favorable observing conditions at Lynchburg College Observatory
Based on your subscription.
Opportunities to observe at: (Clouds/Trans/Seeing)07-28 @ Hour 04 for 2 hours (0%/Above Ave./Excellent)"
I'm about a dozen miles from Lynchburg College, but my location is within the granularity of the forecast.
Good to excellent seeing? On a weekend? I'll take it!
It turns out that the forecast was fairly correct. Good seeing all night long.
No clouds. Good seeing. Dark sky. Milky Way was visible. A few early Perseids streaked across the sky. Moonrise was around 2am. I finished shortly before then.
A Good Cloud
The regular readers of this blog have probably picked up on that I'm not fond of clouds. Sure, it can be cloudy all day and I'd be fine with that. On weekend nights? Shoo, clouds.
There is a cloud, however, that I developed much fondness for last night as I explored Sagittarius with the telescope. Sagittarius? It is approaching Sagittarius season!
I was exploring Sagittarius with the help of SkySafari and my handy DIY telescope joystick controller, and I stumbled across the Sagittarius Star Cloud, also known as Messier 24.
Gorgeous, isn't it? (Click on this image and others to make them larger...)
|The Sagittarius Star Cloud, 8 frames at 4 seconds stacked|
Also known as Messier 8. It is a giant interstellar cloud and is classified as an emission nebula. Look at all of the beautiful internal structure.
|The Lagoon Nebula, 19 frames at 4 seconds stacked|
The Trifid Nebula
Also known as Messier 20. The Trifid Nebula also gets some "fame" from the original Star Trek series episode, "The Alternative Factor" (1967). An image of the Trifid Nebula featured prominently when the episode culminated in a battle between the antagonists in a corridor leading to alternative universes near the Trifid Nebula.
|The Trifid Nebula, 25 frames at 4 seconds stacked|
Each of these images was captured with only minutes of integration time. No post processing necessary. I used SharpCap, my 10 inch Dob, and a ZWO ASI294MC imager. I like the ASI294MC for its wide field of view, its deep well, and high sensitivity.