I’ve been trying to remember the last weekend where we got two clear nights back to back, but last weekend we got them. With all the technical issues of the mount now resolved, we built up a 10 point pointing model and used that to refine the Polar alignment. It’s probably not accurate enough for long exposure photography, but fine for the current program of visual observation.
The Sun has also been putting on a bit of a show as well. Sunspot 1476 was observed and photographed on Friday afternoon and during most of Saturday. We took a number of video sequences using the Nikon D5100. Accurate focusing is still a problem. I know when observing stars that the in focus zone is about an 1/8 turn of the focuser, but when trying that on sunspots, there is a range of over half a turn where the image doesn’t seem to improve much. Next time, I will try focusing on a fixed ground object – lock everything down before slewing back and see if that improves things.
These two images are a blown up section from the video taken. The quality of these is poor, but give a flavor of the small changes over a 24-hour period. I still haven’t a video converter that will output the .MOV files from the Nikon to a format that will be readable by Registax.