This is the 2nd time in the field – I had spent the night at Tal Faibish's place in Eilat (the very southern tip of Israel, where the boarders of Jordan, Israel and Suadi-Arabia nearly touch), and this allowed us to reach our desert location by 5pm, and start of imaging at 6:30pm.
My son Ben, who accompanied us that night, shot several images, including panoramas, of the place.
Though it's desert, you are able to see the snow-covered mountain tops in the Jordanian side of the boarder, a few miles away.
I know it may look like "Curiosity images of Mars" to some of you, but no … - it's the Israeli Negev Desert :-)
We used a pre-prepared Bahtinov Mask, which we've prepared to spec (focal length, etc.) and had laser cut from fiberglass.
We tried focusing without a motor focus, using the Bahtinov mask, and we find it near impossible to reach the required +/- 10 micron zone (total = 20 micron), which is the calculated Critical Focus Zone (CFZ) for this short focal length telescope.
With the motorfocus is was a walk in the park - took us about 60 seconds to reach perfect focus (+2.6 micron) measured using Bahtinov Grabber, on Sirius.
The focus was finished at 18:30, and after guiding was set up (using PHD) the first actual object 10 min. frame came in at 18:46.
Focus was sustained, with no change, till the last frame came in at 04:02 in the morning. The temperature change during this 10 hour stretch was ~ 14 C degrees (from ~ +12 C down to ~ -2 C).
These filters proved to be PERFECTLY parfocal. No focus change was done or required while changing from color to color and from color to luminance. Astrodon filters is one of the purchases I just keep being happy about time and time and time again.
We can actually say nothing here, except that the scope delivers a perfectly lit and flat field, across the whole frame of the SBIG ST 8300.
All in all, the Powernewt has gained a worthy brother with which it will, alas, have to part of our planned long imaging trips abroad (as the Veloce is more compact and easier to travel with).
Looking back, this is a lot of hassle considering that our Southern-Hemisphere imaging location in the Kalahari (Namibia) has some pre-fit imaging scopes at hand, which one can use from a cozy warm room just underneath their dome. However, we both find no fun in using someone else's scope, on someone else's computer, using someone else's camera and someone's preset SW
Quite crazy, wouldn't you say? ... But isn't this whole hobby a crazy endeavor for people (just a little) out of the right minds?