Outline of typical observing session
Parts omitted for clarity, use at your own risk
120 Minutes before you want to start observing
90 Minutes before you want to start observing
Make sure telescope is parked and won’t hit the roof.
Roll roof off
Uncover Telescopes and computers
Plug in computers
Plus in Telescopes, Filter Wheels, Focusers, CCDs
Check filter wheels and focusers
Make sure computer clocks are updated to the right time.
At least 60 minutes before you want to start observing
Start CCD’s cooling
Set 30 cm Meade LX-200 to 0 degrees DEC, 0 Hour Angle
(This is the position the 30 cm thinks it is at when power is applied. ;)
Turn on 30 cm LX-200
Turn on 40 cm Meade LX-200R (It was parked.)
Slew both telescopes with hand paddle to 30 minutes east of Zenith
30 minutes before you want to start observing
Check CCD temperature
15 minutes before you want to start
Check CCD temperature
Slew the telescope to a star and Sync with the hand paddle
The object should be on the cross hairs of the 40cm, and within 1/3 of the center of the finder on the 30cm.
Link to telescope
In MaximDL, connect to the telescope and focuser
Use TheSky to slew to your target
Pick a 7-9th magnitude star close to what you want to observe, use it to adjust focus.
On the ST-8, 2x2 binning is sufficient to minimize FWHM
On the AP7, use 1x1 binning is sufficient to minimize FWHM
(Use Hartmann mask if focus is not close.)
Slew to target, take a 30 second image and use MaximDL to plate solve and sync telescope.
Adjust position of telescope with TheSky.
Set up sequence in MaximDL to “sit on the star all night”, this includes number of exposures and
which filters to use.
Note the time you want to stop or you need to stop (don’t let the telescope point below the
horizon or move until it hits something).
At time plus 10 minutes
At time plus 120 minutes
Stop telescope when object gets 20 degrees above the horizon or before it hits something.
Unlink telescope in MaximDL and TheSky
Roll roof on.
If time allows, take bias, dark, flat and dark flat.
Warm up CCD’s
Next cloudy night
Take bias, dark, flat and dark flat.
Reduce data in AIP4WIN or MaximDL.
Send the data to the people who need it!