M81 and M82 the night of January 5th

Image of 3hrs and 38m taken in subs of 1 and 2 minutes.

Esprit 120, ASI2600MC Gain 100, F7, EQ8 ; stacked in AstroPixelProcessor and developed in Photoshop.

The sky was very foggy, sqm around 20,15.

When scanning for little galaxies, several very small galaxies were identified using SIMBAD at apparent magnitudes below 20. As an example:

2MASS J09533544+6908169Type: IR<10um
Mag: 20.62

M81 and M82 on January 5th (first processing)

Second processing
Third processing

Collimating the C14 with a tri-Bahtinov.

Finally clear skies with a half Moon yesterday! so perfect for fine-collimating the C14.

Last week, astro-friend Erik (Hemiksem) could lasercut two tri-Bahtinovs, one for F11 native and one for the F7.5 configuration using the Starizona reducer.

This was the intial image before collimation:

Tri-Bahtinov image of the C14 before collimation

As can be seen on the image above, the collimation is pretty good, actually near-perfect. The principle of a Bahtinov is that the middle line is perfect in between the two outer lines. A Bahtinov does that with one axis (on set of lines resembling a star), and a tri-Bahtinov does that on three axis. By aligning the Bob’s knobs with the axis of the mask, you can easily adjust each knob untill the coïnciding middle line is perfectly centered.

Closely looking at the starting image, it’s clear that the 10 o’clock-4 o’clock axis line is a bit off. After some small tweaks with the corresponding knob it looks as follows:

A possible pitfall is that the collimation already needs to be near-perfect for this procedure to work. A SCT can be misaligned but still show an aligned tri-bahtinov. So take care to collimate as perfect as possible visually on a star first.

James Webb Space Telescope!

It was already very exciting to wathc the launch, and to follow the subsequent deployment actions. Wether in Belgium did not allow any imaging of this object.

Until last night a clearing allowed me to capture this object at a distance of 882211 km (twice the distance to the move) moving away from us with 0,460 km/second.

The magnitude can be estimated around 13,5, comparable to the little stars it was flying by at the time of capture (Wednesday january 5th, 1:09 UT). Imaging was done with the Esprit 120mm @ 884mm FL and 120-second frames with an ASI2600MC.

James Webb cruising between the stars (top left)
Integration in APP of 7 images