Object name: ARP314
Late last summer I started to have problems with elongated stars. I had to throw out frames and retake them to eliminate this. I couldn't track down the problem. This is probably the most affected image. Retaking didn't help, I just had more elongated stars. I was getting desperate. I decided to regrease the gears and see if that helped. I also had a bad USB cable that needed replacing. These route through the axes. I opened the Dec axis' compartment to pull out the bad cable and found it totally packed with sunflower seeds some little critter (mouse or vole most likely) had stashed there. Once the seeds were removed my oval stars went away. I plugged the openings around the cables with steel wool and set traps. Traps didn't trip or have bait eaten so I assume the critter had already met up with one of the owls that hang around here, great horned and barred. I never retook it. The tracking problems were quick so only distorted brighter objects. Galaxies seem to have been immune to the quick excursions caused by the seeds. Even tiny star forming regions in the "shock wave" like features of the two highly distorted galaxies are well resolved.