Dodgy guiding & NGC 5053

The next clear evening I made an attempt at galaxy M 88 but it turned out to be a session that produced more problems than results. Transparency was quite poor so I wasn't optimistic about getting good subs but after the first couple of exposures it was obvious the guiding was far from happy. The previous sessions were notable for the accuracy of the guiding so the sudden decline in performance was a surprise. Unusually the problem seemed to be more in declination than RA which most often is a balance issue on my system when it does occur. I abandoned any imaging and spent the next hour and a half making adjustments to the balance all to no avail. I decided to give up for the evening but as I was shutting everything down I noticed the declination potentiometer on my control paddle had somehow got knocked out of adjustment. To make sure everything was still OK I restarted the session from scratch and re-calibrated the guider. By now it was getting very late so I quickly searched for a target to do a check on. I found NGC 5053 which is a tight group of various coloured stars only a degree or so from M 53 in Coma Berenices. Some deeper subs would have done this dense cluster more justice but bed was beginning to feel very attractive! Details: 10" f4.3 Newt. 10x 5minute exposures @ iso1600 with CLS in DSS, FIV, CS2 & XAT.

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