With the sky clear, I set up the Vespera Observation station with a solar filter during the day to observe sunspots. When I reviewed the images, I found one with a silhouette of a bird (Turkey Vulture?) flying in front of the sun. In the past I have capture images of planes, and sometimes satellites transiting the solar disk. While on Semester at Sea voyages, we had an informal contest to capture images of ships at the horizon passing in front of the sun at sunset (or sunrise).
Once it got dark out, I set up both the Vespera and Stellina observation stations to observe deep sky objects (galaxies, nebulae, star clusters). The Vespera was fitted with a dual band (H-alpha and O-III) filter. The Vespera captured images of NGC 6960: Western Veil Nebula, Witch’s Broom Nebula; IC 1396: Elephant’s Trunk Nebula; and IC 1795: Fish Head Nebula. The final one didn’t go to completion due to condensation on the lens.
For the Stellina, I used the “Plan My Night” option to collect images of Messier 29 Open Cluster (M29, NGC 6913); NGC 6946 (Fireworks Galaxy); NGC 7331 Spiral Galaxy (Caldwel 30); Messier 31 Spiral Galaxy (Andromeda Galaxy, NGC 224); Messier 74 Spiral Galaxy (M74, NGC 628, Phantom Galaxy); Messier 110 Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (M10, NGC 205); IC 342: The Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis. The system was set to collect images for about an hour for each object. For some reason, the telescope did not automatically close at the end of the collection. I am not sure if the external Anker Power USB power supply ran out. The lens was covered with dew. The Stellina system has a lens heater that is supposed to prevent condensation so may be the reason the power bank ran out. The Vespera system does not have the lens heater option installed.
Daily Electric Energy Used (46.5 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (51.7 kWh) from Sense. Sunny. Surplus of 5.2 kWh.
We had our first significant winter storm leaving about 8 inches of wet, heavy snow. We have experienced several cold spells, lots of rain but little snow until now. This was the first time I had to shovel a path to the road. I was expecting an Amazon delivery later in the day. A lot of birds showed up at the bird feeder. This was the first time that Red-winged Blackbirds visited. The females look a lot different than the males — but turned out to be more aggressive than the regular visitors. Later in the afternoon, the sky was filled with soaring Turkey Vultures.
Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.