Jan 27, 2018 UT: Checking equipment after Christmas

Michael Richmond
Jan 27, 2018

On the night of Jan 26/27, 2018, Jen Connelly, Emily Wilson, Grace Fiacco and I checked the telescope and camera to make sure that it was still working fine after the holiday vacations.

The main setup was:

Conditions were so-so:

We used the login appropriate for class work, rather than the one I usually adopt for my own observations, and while everything did work, we found that the orientation of images in MaximDL was rotated 90 degrees from the proper direction. We'll have to modify the settings in MaximDL later.

We took a series of dark images. As usual, the pixel values in the darks do NOT rise steadily and linearly with exposure time; there is at least one jump backward, to smaller pixel values, when the exposure time exceeds about 2.2 seconds.

After the darks, we acquired dome flats in V and R, and then moved to Capella to focus. We had to use the coarse telescope focus adjustment knob: first move the electric fine focuser to the middle of its range, then twist the silver knob on the telescope until stars were nearly in focus on the CCD, and finally use the electric fine focuser to get the smallest FWHM.

After focusing, we moved to M42 and took 5x12-second exposures in V and R, just for fun. The pictures below co-added versions of the R-band images: North is up and East to the left. First, with low contrast to emphasize the faint features in the outer regions:

Next, a high-contrast version to display the Trapezium:

Last modified 1/27/2018 by MWR.