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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monsoon Season is upon us...

Well, so much for stargazing...can at least enjoy the evening light show when the storms roll through. In the meantime, I will be preparing for the next outing. A new TI-89 programmable calculator is on order, and this one includes a real-time clock for more accurate shutter control timing. This will consume a little extra time to revise my ASTROTMR TI-BASIC program with improved settings.

A short focuser extension tube and a Lumicon broadband filter are also on order. The short extension tube should permit me to put the diagonal back in, now that I'm committed to using the field flattener in my astrophotography. The broadband filter will help reduce the additional sky glow, especially when imaging more toward that part of the sky with the Tucson "light dome."

Since I've made progress using the field flattener and corrected my process to create darks and bias frames, thinking about going all the way and experimenting again with 12,800 ASA! I've already taken 100 bias frames set at that speed. Will plan on taking 100 darks at this extreme when the next clear night arrives and maybe shoot for the Lagoon Nebula, again. Pretty exciting stuff!

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