July 24, 2008

Clear Skies! At last…. a night out under the stars

The last few months have been extremely frustrating. I`ve been out 3 times since the 23rd April, and I have been going stir crazy.

But finally, the high pressure is building, the weather is warming up, and it fells almost like Summer. A bit hazy last night, and the moon coming up later didnt help matters, but the seeing was very stable.

I had both systems out last night because I wasnt sure how the skies would turn out, but in the end, I used the EQ6/C11 combination.

OTA: C11 @ f/6.3 (or thereabouts)
Guiding: SW ED80 + DSI-C + PHD (via EQMOD)
Ha Imaging: QHY8 + MaximDL, 9 x 300s (lost 3 subs to the seeing), Astronomik 13nm Ha filter
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker
Post Process: ImagesPlus + PSCS2 + Noel Carboni’s AstroTools

(Click on Image for Larger Version)

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July 16, 2008

NGC7293 Ha (Helix Nebula) – GRAS

The seeing and transparency were fantastic last night…. in Australia <sigh>. I gave in and spent some more money on my Global Rent-a-Scope account to use the scopes in Oz to grab some new subs.

NGC7293 is an object that is JUST too low from the UK to be a valid target, but was nearly at the Zenith from Australia.

So, here we go:

OTA: RCOS 10″ f/6
Imaging: SBIG ST-10XME, 10 x 600secs, flats and darks applied.

Notes: This is the first image I have processed using the techniques I have learnt over the last few days from Ron Wodawski’s Zone System book, which is well worth a read if you can get your hands on it.

(Click on image for larger version)

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