Firing back up the blog

November 29, 2021

It's been a few years since I have blogged and in that time we have moved to Idaho, we bought some acreage in pretty dark skies (though by a small town for convenience), I built my dome observatory (Star Stalker Observatory), and so many other things. I thought about going back and writing a blog about the observatory build ... that might come down the line ... for tonight I wanted to share how an excerpt of how my brain operates when I am imaging. I typed these up last night around 4:30am in my first imaging session in a couple months (thanks to endless clouds whenever the moon was away) to answer the "How's did it go" text I knew I would get in the morning. Normally I completely adjust my schedule and operate on the opposite of the rest of the world, but due to a few factors recently I couldn't entirely swap my schedule before this week's imaging runs. As such, I went into the week of imaging knowing that I would be tired until I adjusted. 

More rambling later, on to my Internal dialogue:

I started imaging at 10pm, I should have 6.5 hrs of data to check. Yay!

Wait, I have been checking each image as it comes through every 15 min, I don't need to check them again.

I should check them again *checks them* Hrmm, how do I only have 4.5 hrs of data *scratches head*

Oh, right, I had it focus every so often and that takes time. I also threw out 5 frames as my guider occasionally loses its mind for a second and ruins a 15 min frame, and I paused at 2 am for a bit as I put the slide off roof back on, ok, makes sense.

Waiiiiitt ..... is 900seconds REALLY 15 min *looks skeptically at clock and giant countdown timer on imaging software* ok, fine, time is still time.

I need sleep.

I really need to adjust my polar alignment again, I have some overall drift even with guiding ... not tonight, during next bright moon when I can't image *remembers that I have said this every single time I have imaged for the past year and never remembers to actually do this come full moon, puts into calendar*

Yay, new sub just came through *instantly checks it as I have every single frame that has come in since 10pm* Yay, pretty. Stars look good. No airplane in the frame. Yippee.

Want to sleep. Is it sunrise yet? No? Dangit. I mean, Yay, more imaging time. But dangit, I am tired.

Ok, forecast is supposed to be good for next 3-4 nights. Stay on target whole time? *does internal calculations about total exposure time for each filter* Yeah, stay on target. If I lose about as many hours for focus and other tasks as tonight I should have 30hrs of data by the end of the week, that should be a nice picture.

Definitely too tired, giving up for the night, and by that I mean I will definitely be spending the next hour doing calibration and shut down tasks and wiping down the electronics cause the dew is bad. So I can sleep in an hour. Yay. *goes back to the observatory, gets some calibration frames going, transfers files from the night to the network drive, dries off what needs to be and closes up dome.*

 

So, yeah, that is roughly how my brain works when working non-stop all night. Data last night looked decent and tonight's session is currently going and looking even better than last nights. I should have ~13 hours of Hydrogen-Alpha data on the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) after this evening with, hopefully, 3 more nights ahead of me. Here's to clear skies ahead! 
 


Archive
January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November December (2)
January February March April May June July August September October (1) November December
January February March April May June July August September (1) October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November (1) December
January February March April May June July August September October November December