What’s happening this month at Orion’s Belt Remote Observatory?
A new project is started on the 16″! The “Needle Galaxy” NGC 4565. This is a fantastic edge-on fairly bright galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices. It is well positioned, now visible almost the entire night so we should be able to complete the project in the next month or 2.
Work continues on M77 galaxy in Cetus. Luminance is completed and red channel almost done. The recent supernova in the galaxy discovered in Nov. continues to fade. M77 is getting pretty low in the sky and is only a suitable target until around 10pm or so. This will likely have to wait until next year to complete. Weather in Mayhill has generally been poor this Winter, uncharacteristically.
No major operational issues to report except 2 of the mirror shutters on the 16″, which we have been struggling with since the initial installation, have basically failed. We had to manually open them at a recent observatory visit and leave all of them full open. This does not affect the imaging operations at all. It’s a very cool feature but so far I think more of a hassle than perhaps it’s worth. You have to accept gradual accumulation of dust on the mirrors regardless! An upgraded shutter system is supposed to be available soon.
That’s it for now! Thanks for reading.