The punch list is getting smaller. Progress is being made when the weather cooperates. Here is what was supposed to be quick stacked test image of M42, the Orion Nebula, taken after a couple hours of drift aligning in subfreezing weather. Not many exposures used but it looked worth processing. Not to shabby given the core was not blown out like is usually the case in most images of this nebula. Anxious to try a serious attempt at it soon.
Some major upgrades to the observatory are finally nearing completion. The major component being installed is a Losmandy G11/Gemini2 mount system. This should provide a great deal more accuracy in tracking and doubles the payload weight of the previous mount. The previous AVX mount will be relegated to the duties of a portable field mount where it will carry a lighter load. Another major component recently installed is the addition of an Explore Scientific 80mm triplet refractor. It will serve double duty as a wide field imaging scope and portable field scope. It may also serve as an autoguider scope in times when the off axis guider is not used. Some other minor modifications have been made, including the addition of dew heaters for both scopes. I’m anticipating a “burn in calibration” time of a couple weeks as time and sky conditions will allow.