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An interloping unidentified object - SOLVED

While doing a time-series on GD 552 (22:50:39.90 +63:28:38.3) around 2014-08-28.33 UT, a bright object entered the 16' x 11' FOV from the west. It took 103 minutes to move 15 arc min. My first guess is a satellite, but its slow movement has me second-guessing. 

image of interloper

Look at a movie made from 44 images.

Dome Rotation Motor Chassis Modification

It started off as a well intended modification, but probably ended up unnecessary.

The two dome rotation motors are 180 degrees apart; east and west side of the observatory. The west motor wheels began to loose their grip on the underside of the dome support ring (
DSR). When I first inspected the trouble, it appeared that there was insufficient tension from the motor chassis tension spring, at the left side of the motor chassis as shown in image below.

Televue 3.5" Extension Tubes

The Van Slyke MegaPort SideWinder has provision for two (2) ports in addition to the off-axis guider port (top) and the main imaging port (rear), were the main QSI 516 ws CCD camera (blue) is located. These two other ports are presently used to accept 2" eyepieces, but because of the back-focus necessary to reach the main CCD imaging plane, the two eyepiece ports in question require extension tubes to bring the eyepieces into focus. I opted for the TeleVue 3.5" long extension tubes (X3C-0009) to accommodate my TeleVue 17 and 31 mm Naglers.

Dome-Scope IP Cam

I saw a D-Link 932L IP Camera on sale at a local computer store, and, after doing a little research, I decided to get one and install it to stream video as well as snapshots of the inside of the dome and telescope.  While not a great IP camera, it is good value for the price.

Replacing a Dome Shutter Cable

I don't know how it happened, but I noticed that one of the two stainless steel, braided cables that open and close the dome shutter started to fray at one location along the cable length (about 1 meter from the end of the cable near the bottom of the shutter opening).  Technical Innovations supplied a replacement cable, and it took about an hour to replace the cable.

New ASCOM Dome Driver

After speaking with Technical Inovations, I got a new (I think beta) version ofthe Digital Dome Works ASCOM Driver.  I'll be testing it in the hopes of finally ridding myself of the "Refresh Timer Exception Phase=5" issue.

Optimizing ADU Targets for Flat Frames

Did some experimenting with ADU targets for flat frames.  The full well of the KAF-1603 in the QSI 516 is 100,000e-. Gain is 2.6 e-/ADU. So, full well of a single pixel binned 1x1 will occur about 38,500 ADUs. It is best that ADUs reach about 80% of full well, which is a little over 30,000 ADUs. For higher binning values, full well will be close to 65,000 ADUs. A good target for flats there is about 50,000 ADUs.


I hooked up with Michael Poxon today who is leading a program to monitor Young Stellar Objects.  This looks like a very interesting program, and I hope my observations become useful.

AAVSO Mentor

Afer struggling with some photometry issues, I decided to leverage the AAVSO mentor program.  I connected with Mike Simonsen at the AAVSO and he connected me with a knowledgeable AAVSO member who has been a wonderful resource.  I'm looking forward to soaking up the knowledge.

Upgraded to ACP Hot Fix 1

DC-3 Dreams released Hot Fix 1 for ACP.  I upgraded ACP tonight.


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