Flintstone Stargazing

May 5, 2008

M104-Sombrero Galaxy

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 6:42 am

M104-Sombrero Galaxy on 5/4/08

Last night I got a couple more targets on my way to finishing off the Messier catalog, including this shot of the Sombrero Galaxy (M104). I also began experimenting with actively cooling my camera (which helps reduce noise and make the camera more sensitive). I took the Peltier cooler out of a small mini-fridge that we had gotten free as a promo from Office Depot and after grinding down part of the back of my DSI camera (the less expensive of the 2 I own – the backs are interchangable), I attached the cooler and then attached the back to my DSI-II color camera. The cooler could cool down the camera pretty quickly, but there were two problems I ran into. First, when the cooler is operating, the images that I get back from the camera look wrong – there was some sort of electronic interference. It might be from the fan, so I’m going to try to run it without the fan next time to see if that’s the source of the problem. The second issue is that it formed dew on the imaging chip once the temperature got below about 10 degrees below the ambient temperature. I’m not sure what I might be able to do with this problem, other than go out when there’s less humidity. We’ll see, but I’m hoping that I can figure out a solution to both of these problems so that I can keep the camera temperature really low and get better pictures during the summer.


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