Been a while, hasn’t it?
My wide-field setup consisting of an EQM-35 and Evostar 72ED has been nothing but trouble. While I am very pleased with the telescope itself, which seems quite well corrected for being so cheap, the mount has been a nightmare. I finally dismantled the entire thing, gave it a shower in brake parts cleaner, and regreased it with white lithium. I spent a couple hours last night replacing the motor controller firmware and fiddling with the guiding settings, and I think I have it to a point where it will guide well enough for the pixel scale. The guide graph still looks like a saw blade but the stars are round enough for me. Next up will be tweaking the backfocus and tilt to get better star correction in the corners, but at least I’ve gotten an image out of the damn thing.
The Double Cluster is an interesting field consisting of two open clusters in Perseus. The clusters are around 7,500 light years away and are around 14 million years old, making them quite young. The clusters are neighbors and are approaching Earth at 24 miles per second.
Personally, I think clusters are really lacking without some diffraction spikes. 🙂