Do I make imaging mistakes? Yes – here’s a really good example!

A couple of nights ago conditions were perfect for imaging – freezing cold, crystal clear, and no Moon to worry about.  Excellent!  I am going to get a ton of data on little NGC1333 in Perseus.  I do a two-star align on Capella and Aldebaran (close together so I don’t spend too much time on aligning) – focus up using the robofocus and off it goes, imaging away for 5 hours – brilliant!  Next morning I check the data.  No NGC1333 in the frame, in fact very little apart from stars, and an uninteresting star field at that, in the frame.  By being lazy in the 2-star align the goto was actually way out, so I managed to end up in a region of Perseus with very little in it.  I was around 0.1 degrees out in RA (which is recoverable) but 1.5 degrees out in DEC (which is not).  5 hours of perfect imaging time down the drain.  Merry Christmas!

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3 Responses to Do I make imaging mistakes? Yes – here’s a really good example!

  1. Lars Hermansson says:

    Mistake maybe, but not at all uninteresting with all that dark nebulosity all over the field of view. Another 5 hours of exposure and it would stand out 😉 Amazing.

  2. John Walton says:

    Hi Greg,
    This happened to me two nights in a row (in 2008), so I retired my finder scope and use PinPoint to plate solve the first prime focus image. Then sync the scope in MaximDL, and the ponting is then accurate.
    Pinpoint integrates seamlessly with MaximDL.
    My automation software allows me to build a complex pointing model, using additional sync points so I can calibrate out systematic errors.


  3. Dave Adshead says:

    Yes, been there done that. It is a nice picture of a star field though. :))


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