Whirlpool of a night

The darkest night and best transparency I’ve seen in quite a while finally arrived. It was a bit cool, but I got some terrific views of Jupiter and the Whirlpool Galaxy. Jupiter was nearly at opposition and looked great – the biggest and brightest I’ve seen. Four cloud bands were clearly visible as it rose higher in the sky.

The Whirlpool presented a fine opportunity to spend more time experimenting with lin_guider and iAstroHub. I took several 4-minute exposures, 4-minutes being the longest reasonably clean exposure I’ve done so far. I got one shot that was pretty decent while the others had some start trails.

I’ve got more work to do as I continue to experiment and learn. It was approaching the mid-thirties as the night progressed – I only have so much time and endurance, even on the best of nights!

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51). A 4-minute, 1600 iso exposure.

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