Feder Observatory

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

Archive for September, 2014

Observing Log 9/18/2014 0

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Juan

Juan and Matt out here with Lauren U, Brian T., Erin A., and Brandon C. for telescope training.  “Interesting night” in the cursed sort of “interesting” way.

Computer would not power on: Initially the computer would not power on.  We played with the cords and so on and came to the conclusion it could be either the power supply or the (watch) battery for the BIOS.  However, as the I (Juan) took the kiddos out to the dome to learn how to open up the dome, Matt got the computer to boot.  No magic.  He unplugged it for a few seconds, then plugged it in.  This had already been attempted, but hey, “interesting”…

Camera Drivers self-immolated again: Then we discovered that the computer was not recognizing the camera.  It turned out we had to install the Apogee camera driver (again, this happened a few weeks ago).  Something is seemingly wiping out the driver.

Camera focus was far off the model we have been using in the past: We next pointed the telescope using http://nova.astrometry.net/ and discovered we had the focus really far off (preventing a astrometric solution).

For a temperature of 72F we discovered we had to get the focus to 2865 (about 20 above where our previous solutions were) to get things in focus, but it was astounding seeing (FWHM of 3 pixels!).

Finally, the kiddos take pictures: First target of the night, M13 (The Hercules Cluster)… and nothing, because the telescope was off in position by about 50 arcminutes (confirmed by astrometry.net).  As clouds rolled in we did finally get a picture of M13…

And were not able to shutdown calmly:  Maxim DL lost track of its Camera Control Window.  Quitting it and restarting it seemed to make it recover the window.

Thus ends the “interesting” night….

Observing Log, 9/16/2014 0

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Matt

Observed tonight with Nathan Walker, Laura Herzog and Michael Meraz.  The main focus was on reviewing/learning setup and shutdown procedures but we did take some images of M57 (Ring Nebula) in R-band only (to limit time spent on taking flats).


Air temperature was about 60F, focus set to 2845 with FWHM of 5.5-6.5.


Matt Craig


Observing Log, 9/5/2014 0

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Matt

No science observing was done tonight, but there was a public night so we opened up the dome.


We hit a problem we hadn’t hit before: the telescope computer forgot that it knew about the camera. After a little while windows recognized that there was “new” hardware and offered to install the driver. Doing that got the camera working again.

Incidentally “we” is Matt Craig and Juan Cabanela.


Temperature was approximately 65F and focus was set to 2545 with seeing around 7px FWHM.

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