Peach State Star Gaze Day 1 and the PMC8 G-11

Steve Siedentop

None of us expected much out of the first night at the 2018 Peach State Star Gaze given the meh forecast.  In spite of the underwhelming forecast calling for 50% cloud cover, there were about 15 people here on the first night, which is more than I expected.  Typically Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when everyone arrives.

As the sun set, a handful of sucker holes formed and we started polar aligning.  About halfway through the Polemaster guided process, a cloud bank settled in northern part of the sky and this is where I usually compare the observational part of amateur astronomy to fishing.  I had adjusted the mount earlier in the week, making things worse rather than better  and found myself with a mount that was binding on occasion.  So, I decided to use the cloudy sky time to refine the adjustment.

The skies cleared and turned out to be quite clear and stable.  After a few iterations of adjustment, I got it right, slewed to a target and started guiding to see what I could see.  The results were quite good and the mount guiding consistently with a total RMS of .4.  I started capturing a sequence of 5 minutes subs on Mellotte 15 and let it do its thing.


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