Feder Observatory

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

Archive for April, 2014

Observing log, 4/21/2014 0

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Matt

Went to the observatory tonight with the goal of taking data on EY UMa and M82. It took a few minutes at the beginning of the night to push the telescope back up to vertical, but initialization was quick after that using astrometry.net’s web service to get the pointing.


Seeing was lousy–jumped from FWHM around 5 to 15. Focus was initially set to 2840 and the temperature was about 50F. By around 11PM the “stars” looked awful…think blurry pacman (see below).


Adjusted focus, which didn’t help a lot, and moved the dome, which was partially blocking the field of view. Patchy clouds came in after that…and then had to leave earlier than planned because a child at home wasn’t feeling well.

Bottom line: Got data only on EY UMa, and that data is of marginal quality.


Bean-shaped stars. Bad :(

Observing log, 4/4/2014 0

Posted on April 05, 2014 by Matt

Laura, Nathan, Hollee  and I observed tonight. It was cloudy until 1:45AM so the first several hours were spent taking calibration images, including a set of flats to check linearity.

One important lesson from the night: DO NOT HAVE TRACKING TURNED ON WHILE TAKING FLATS. Nothing bad happened, but the orientation of the telescope was changing over the few hours we were doing flats and if it had gone much further the diffuser would have fallen off.

The only science object of the night was M82, observed in BVR.

Temperature was 33F, focus 2814 with FWHM between 5 and 6 pixels.

Observing Log, 4/1/2014 0

Posted on April 02, 2014 by Matt

I went observing this evening; conditions were excellent throughout the night (consistent seeing, though the focus needed to be adjusted around 3:45AM because the temperature had gone down).


Air temperature started around 23F, focus set to 2795. Focus was changed to 2785 around 3:45AM because it had cooled off.


  • M82 (enough images to get SNR on the supernova, but not enough to make pretty pictures)
  • UZ Vir, discussed in this article by Sodor, et al., because it had a maximum early-ish in the evening (12:40PM) and I’d like to try and reproduce their results (by which I really mean make my curve line up with theirs).
  • EY UMa, because I’m here, it is up, and there was a maximum forecast around 5AM.
  • The standard field SA104


  • The filter wheel briefly stopped working because the set screw was too tight. I think that is because it has warmed up considerably since the last time it was adjusted and the wheel could no longer turn.
  • The dome wasn’t lined up with the scope perfectly. Fixed by manually steering the dome a bit and setting its azimuth to the telescope’s azimuth.
  • Batteries in the reticle are dead.
  • I forgot to connect the scope to MaxImDL, so header patching will be more fun than usual.

Other than that it was smooth sailing!

↑ Top