Feder Observatory

A Blog for Minnesota State University Moorhead's Paul P. Feder Observatory

Archive for April, 2013

Observing log, Apr 28, 2013 0

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Matt

WARNING: DO NOT USE DATA FROM THIS NIGHT, or use with extreme caution. Turns out the dome was causing much more extensive problems than I originally thought–the EY UMa data from this night had “jumps” in its light curve, each of which happened right after the telescope was slewed from EY UMa to a standard field and back.

Planning to observe EY UMa, some standard fields, and MY Aql tonight.

Conditions are very good, with seeing around 6 pixels FWHM.

Ran into a problem with the dome that affected observations from about 11:15PM-12:35AM CDT. Alignment of the slit with the telescope was off, so noise increased a lot.

Fixed by:

  • Turning “Auto Dome” to off in TCS/Telescope…/Misc…
  • manually steering the dome to match telescope position
  • Initializing dome position to current telescope position under TCS/Telescope…/Initialization…
  • Turned “Auto Dome” back on

No other problems during the night, and conditions were good for the entire night.

Observing log, Fri, Apr 26, 2013 0

Posted on April 28, 2013 by Matt

Matt Craig, Aaron Peterson and Nathan Heidt went to the telescope tonight. Conditions were very good, with seeing 5-6 pixels FWHM.

We observed QQ Dra, V440Lac and some standard star fields.

A more detailed log (by Aaron) of the night is below. In addition to the set of twilight flats we took, dome flats were taken with the diffuser later in the night.


Observing Log for 26 April 2013

2100 – Taking BVRI flats, no diffuser, getting counts in the 8000 range at 20 sec exp, started at 5 sec exp

2104 – I is down to 4000, set to 60 sec for remaining 5 exp, getting 6000, no bueno

2137 – Focus set to 2840 with FWHM of 4-6

2144 – Begin with shots of sa104, 3 of each BVRI, 30 sec exp

sa104 RA 12:42:54  Dec -0:32:1

2158 – Begin QQ Dra, 90 sec VRI, 120 sec B, 30 exp

RA 15:16:47  Dec +61:44:56

2310 – Update: Located QQ Dra using AIJ, looks to be enough reference stars in frame for adequate photometry

2311 – make a wish

27 April 2013

0011 – running some photometry on images gathered so far, results look good, seeing a change of .15 mags in a series of 27 R band 90 sec exp

0153 – first batch of QQ Dra data collected, taking several standards then back to QQ Dra

0158 – shots of sa104, 3 of each BVRI, 30 sec exp

0226 – back to QQ Dra, same series of shots as above

Observing log, Apr 19, 2013 0

Posted on April 20, 2013 by Matt

First, DO NOT TRUST THE TIMESTAMP ON ANY IMAGES TAKEN BEFORE 11:15PM local time, UTC 2013-04-20 04:15:00, because the automatic synchronization with the time server was not working. The images themselves are fine, but the times cannot be trusted to an accuracy better than ~1 second.

Those images are in a separate folder with the data for that night…it shouldn’t be hard to miss.

Other than that, and the fact that the computer was being cranky enough I decided to reboot the computer, it was a nice night, with seeing at FWHM ~3-4.


I observed EY UMa, M101, EL Dra and some standard star fields.



Observing Log, Apr 13, 2013 0

Posted on April 14, 2013 by Matt

Juan Cabanela and I came out to the observatory tonight. The filter wheel was reinstalled, and works properly. I was able to reproduce the ERROR=1 problem using the old CAT5 cable that connected the filter to the telescope pier in the dome. Replacing that cable fixed the problem.


The alignment of the camera with the sky is a little bit different now than it was before–North is now nearly perfectly in the top of the image, east is to the right.

I observed a few different variable stars, and the Landolt standard field SA110. Conditions were surprisingly good until about midnight, when clouds started to roll in. I wrapped up observing and closed the dome for shooting calibration images at 12:30AM, anticipating that snow will start within an hour or two.


GREAT to be out observing again!

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