Observing Report – 2013-09-25

I put the HD11 on the CGE Pro and realigned it. My main purpose was to setup an imaging run of the Milky Way using the Canon T2i (with astro filter mod) and 28mm wide angle lens. This time using the motorized tracking of the CGE Pro. I didn’t need the HD11 for that of course, but i also wanted to check out M11 and the Iris Nebula with the larger scope.

M11 is called the “Wild Duck Cluster” because the bright triangle of three stars represents a flying flock of ducks. I think that’s a bit of stretch of the imagination. As well, i thought it’s only geese that fly in formation. According to Wikipedia, M11 one of the densest and richest open clusters  with approximately 2900 stars. Its listed as magnitude 6.3 with a diameter of 14′.

Previously with the 106mm refractor M11 looked like a dense fuzzy oval – ie like a globular cluster. With the HD11’s 280mm aperture it was a spectacular sight with many individual stars resolved. The Hyp 24mm i was using yields 116x magnification and a real FoV of 35′. So M11 at 14′ filled half the eyepiece. It still looks more like a spare globular cluster though.

I also checked out the Iris Nebula (NGC 7023) to see if more of the nebula was visible with the larger aperture. Surprisingly it wasn’t a lot better! I didn’t have to use averted vision to see the nebula, but there wasn’t much structure evident. I was hoping to at least see the triangular “hole” near the bright central star, but i could not make it out.

The rest of the time was spent taking two image sets of the Milky Way. One near Sagittarius on the horizon. And the other high overhead near Cygnus.

The images for those runs are still being processed.