April 22, 2010

M101 from SGL5

This was the original target for the TS OAG equipped 190 MakNewt, but its been a chore to get this processed. Playing with the other data (M13, NGC7023) has helped me learn a little more about the sky conditions over the two nights, plus I hadnt got Maxim to guide and dither correctly (used PHD instead), it that has caused some issues when stacking.

Anyway, here it is…. I can now see why its a hard target to get good data for, the faint arms really are very faint, and any moisture or muck in the sky will fade them out. I`ll get some more data on this when I can, but I am happy with this as a real first light with the TS OAG (even it is the last of the lot to get processed). Its a bit noisy, the faint bits have had a bit too much noise reduction, there is some gradient showing in the corenrs for some reason, but I dont think this current set of data going to get any better looking than this….

Mount: EQ6 via EQMOD
OTA: Skywatcher 190 MakNewt @ f/5.3
Guiding: TS OAG + Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Imaging: Starlight Xpress M25C + MaximDL, 9×900s (usable), Hutech IDAS LPR (101 bias, 101 flats)
Orchestrated: CDD Commander
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker

(Click on image for larger version)

Full Size Crop

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April 21, 2010

Moon from SGL5

Taken at SGL5 as the sun went down, but the skies were still too light for anything other than alignment and imaging the moon 🙂

190 MakNewt, Televue 2″ 2x PowerMate, Starlight Xpress M25C.

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April 21, 2010

NGC7023, Iris Nebula (SGL5)

This is one of a small handful of my own personal nemesis objects, i.e. ones that I image and it never ever goes quite right, something fails, weather lets me down, contrails, too breezy, sky too murky, etc… Anyway, despite this, I tried again at SGL5, hoping that with the new TS OAG I could get the longer subs required to really show this object at its best.

As it happens, the sky let me down evertually and the fog rolled in after just 90 minutes or subs 🙁 The final image is a bit noisy, and maybe has some odd gradients at the lower and righthand edges, but it has shown me that the longer subs are the way to go for targets that dont oversaturate the CCD.

I will return to this target later in the year, and get the extended time that I so desperately require to lower the noise enough to show up the dusty clouds in the background.

Note that this image looks good on one of my monitors, “OK” on another,  and doesnt show the dusty clouds at all on an uncalibrated monitor at  all, so if all you see is the blue part and not the clouds, try turning the brighness up a a bit.

Mount: EQ6 via EQMOD
OTA: Skywatcher 190 MakNewt @ f/5.3
Guiding: TS OAG + Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Imaging: Starlight Xpress M25C + MaximDL, 6×900s, Hutech IDAS LPR (51   bias, 51 flats)
Orchestrated: CDD Commander
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker

(Click on image for larger version)

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April 20, 2010

M13, 190MN, 2x PowerMate, TS OAG :)

I imaged this one on Satudary night at SGL5, its an hours worth of 5 minute images. I took 2.5 hours worth, but M13 was still down “in the murk” at the start and the image quality was quite bad at that altitude. The guiding also suffered that low down, but it improved quickly as it got higher in the sky.

A couple of new bits of kit involved in this image. First was the inclusion of a Teleskop Service 9mm Off Axis Guider, which took 3.5 daylight hours to get parfocal with the imaging CCD, but well worth the time spent.

The other bit in this image was the use of a Televuew 2″ 2x PowerMate, which takes the 190 MakNewt from f/5.3 to f/10.6… slower but the same field of view as a C8.

I`m very happy with the performance of the 190MN under abnormal conditions, I am sure that the OAG had a large part in getting such fantastic subs. You would have thought that such a long tube OTA would have really moved around, and adding the powermate would have just made things worse, but I have included an image of the 2x drizzle cropped center of M13 to show just how round most of the stars are.

Mount: EQ6 via EQMOD
OTA: Skywatcher 190 MakNewt @ f/10.6 (Televue 2″ 2x PowerMate)
Guiding: TS OAG + Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Imaging: Starlight Xpress M25C + MaximDL, 12x300s, Hutech IDAS LPR (101  bias, 101 flats)
Orchestrated: CDD Commander
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker

(Click on image for larger version)

and here is the 2xdrizzle cropped centre…

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