17th day:  26/27 Dec 2004, total 8 hours

Don't forget: If you want a larger version (1024 x 768) of any image, just click on it!

Finally, after almost a month, I found some time to work on my hut again. I did some interior painting, attached window shades, and (almost) closed the gable. Also, my hut saw 'first light' - not with the Cassegrain, but with a pair of binoculars and a video camera! I observed comet Machholz from the comfort of my hut. After finishing the observation, I closed the roof and went to bed - this took only two minutes! It was absolutely great and I am looking forward to have my telescope installed in the hut.
 
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I soldered together the zink gutter and mounted it. This was a pain in the neck! I realized that I can't solder very well.
 

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The gable - still open.

 

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The gable - half closed.

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And now ... the gable is closed!
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But: There is water inside! It seems to be condense water from the air. A colleague advises me to ignore it. Problably it is just the fresh black paint inside the hut. It should be ventilated enough to be no problem. We'll see...

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For the first time - I open the roof and observe comet Machholz! It is absolutely great - when I get cold, it takes me two minutes to close down the roof and go inside.

click to enlarge <- Here we are. The hut is used for the first time! I observe comet Machholz. I use a pair of 20x70 binoculars for visual observations, located to the right. On the left tripod  I use a Watec 120N video camera hooked to a 135 mm f/2.8 telelens via an M42/C-mount adapter. It gives about 2 deg field of view.

To the left of the tripods you can see a Dell Laptop with a docking station mounting a Matrox framegrabber card to digitize the video image.

An image of comet Machholz - median of 38 images, 64x integration each, i.e. a total of 1.5 min exposure time. With some imagination, the two tails can be seen in the directions of 5 h and 10 h. I admit that some flatfielding would help...


Prepared by dvk, 01 Jan 2005..
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