March 31, 2008

M81/M82 Hyperstar Widefield

FINALLY the clouds cleared… nearly 4 weeks without more than an hour of clear dark sky, and finally I get out.

It was actually just a test for some new bits and pieces to get the rig balanced again before Kelling heath (AstroZap dew Solid shield for Hyperstar, and the quite mesmerising DewBuster dew controller with its blinking LEDs), but the sky was clear and so it seemed a waste.

Couldnt quite get my head around just how late it is before it gets “astro” dark… it was at least 9.20-9.30pm. Goodbye winter! 🙁

I have also reverted back to using my CLS filter. I tried the IDAS 3 times now, both with and without the moon being up, and I still find that my “black” backgrounds are better with the CLS filter from my location. Unsure why, will need to do further investigations on this issue.

Anyway, here we go. Certainly not one of the best I`ve ever done, and completely the wrong kind of target for the optical setup last night, but after 4 weeks, I dont care!

OTA: NS8GPS @ f/2 (Hyperstar v3)
Guiding: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD + DSI-C + PHD
RGB Imaging: QHY8 + MaximDL, 21×300s, CLS
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker
Post Process: ImagesPlus + PSCS2 + Noel Carboni’s AstroTools

(Click on Image for Larger version)

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