November 26, 2008

20 desperate minutes on M42 (w/ MakNewt)

After finishing my evening meal in a rush, wiping the sleet off the MakNewt sat outside under a cover, one of the most hurried set ups ever (never a good thing!), working my way round house guests with large heavy kit, fighting the cold, the blustery wind, my laptop crashing… twice!, PHD locking up, my DSI guide camera deciding to play hide and seek with the USB controller, I`m just glad I manged to get something to show for it. Consider this a false start, a not even a work in progress…. consider it lucky to get this before the clouds rolled in to finish off a most miserable evening.

Minimal detail because it doesnt deserve anything else

Imaging: QHY8 + IDAS 4 x 300s, no flats/dark/bias, minimal post processing
Guiding: PHD + DSI-C + ED80
OTA: Skywatcher 190 MakNewt

Yes, this really is only 20 minutes!!

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November 8, 2008

NGC281 Ha with the Skywatcher 190mm F/5.3 Maksutov-Newtonian Astrograph

Finally, after what seems like an incredibly long “new kit” induced period of clouds, the skies cleared last night. Seeing was OK, transparency was borderline rubbish, and the moon just made things worse

But… there were stars, and plenty of them. I was hoping the skies would stay clear all night so I could go for an RGB target, but alas the clouds rolled in at about 2.15am. The image is a bit noisey due to the transparency and the moon glow, but I`m happy with this as a first light with the Mak-Newt

After running PoleAlignMax to get a really good alignment, here is the result:

OTA: Skywatcher 190mm F/5.3 Maksutov-Newtonian Astrograph
Guiding: Skywatcher ED80 + DSI-C + PHD
Imaging: QHY8 + MaximDL, 20×600s, Astronomik 13nm Ha
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker
Post Process: ImagesPlus + PSCS2 + Noel Carboni’s AstroTools

(Click on image for larger version)

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