TEXAS STAR PARTY 2016 PAGE
© 2016 Ted Saker, Jr. All rights reserved.
Country of First Publication: The United States of America
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(Page created: 30 Jun 2016)
The 2016 Texas Star Party gave us five out of six clear nights which we put to use. John Wagoner graciously used my suggested list of my favorite spiral galaxies for the 2016 Telescope Observing Club pin. "Spiralmania" turned out to be a big hit. It even got a mention in the August issue of Sky & Telescope. I recall John told me that he handed out about 120 pins. The Spiralmania pin was easily the coolest one ever handed out. I may be biased, but if you saw how the galaxies play with the light, you would have to agree.
I topped the highlight of TSP 2015 by taking the first real images with the Scarlet and Gray Astrograph (SAGA) telescope I built. The real challenge is processing the images produced by the camera I use with the SAGA, an aged but serviceable Starlight Xpress MX7C one shot color unit. It uses a CMY matrix instead of the usual RGB. The results were much better than the ones I took at TSP 2015 using a Meade DSI Pro. I still have a lot to learn about processing the MX7C images.
Four straight clear nights made for great conditions. However, equipment limitations kept me from using all of the time to my best advantage. Facing east, it seemed as if all my desired targets lacked suitable guide stars, but facing west, there was no problem. I spent the time imaging with both scopes this year. The lower image output meant I could spend more time on each object.
TSP comes and goes too quickly. I'm hoping to be able to attend again next year.
2016 TEXAS STAR PARTY ASTRONOMICAL IMAGES
M51 Spiral Galaxy “The Whirlpool” in Canes Venatici. 60 min. L, 30 min. R, 30 min. G, 60 min. B
Emission Nebula (M8/NGC6523) "The Lagoon" in Sagittarius. 3600 secs. with the SAGA and Starlight Xpress MX7C camera.
The Whirlpool Galaxy image was acquired with an SBIG ST-8XME camera with AO-8, SBIG CFW-10 with Custom Scientific LRGB filters (for tricolor images), and an Astro-Tech f/8 AT8RCF on a Losmandy Gemini I G-11 GEM.
SCENES FROM AROUND TEXAS STAR PARTY 2016
Happy Hour with the Shade Tree Gang in the Davis Mountains
Happy Birthday to Keith.
Brr. Cold TSP nights, but great viewing.
Clear, dark and steady skies!
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To the TSP 2015 Page
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