June 1, 2009

IC1396 two-pane mosaic

Why cant we have this run of clear skies in the winter, when the wide field objects are high in the sky and its dark? eh? Pah!

Had a few “issues” over the weekend while out…. nothing serious, just annoying little things.

Bad things:

Its nowhere near dark…. couldnt believe how bright the sky really was, and I believe my subs reflect that poor condition. The lack of time also didnt help, not enough subs to smooth out the noise. May have to look at GRAS for the summer months, and/or invest in a 6nm/7nm Ha filter.

PAM played silly buggers on me using the FLT98… took me nearly 2 hours on Friday night to work out that it needs to look for 1 pixel stars with widefield images, or it may not solve it.

Couldnt get Maxim to guide… it just refused to “see” a guide star until I was doing 5 second subs with the SX Lodestar. Meanwhile, PHD was finding stars all over the place at 0.5 seconds with the same camera in the same OTA. Go figure…

Had some flexure, couldnt work it out for a while. Both nights I had flex due to the FLT98 focuser (which can rotate) was a bit floppy. Saturday night I had some flex because I thought I had tightened the ADM dovetail into the puck after some lateral balance adjustments…. but apparently not as tight as I thought! When I stripped it down on Sunday, I could rock the ADM Side-By-Side plate backwards and forwards in the puck. That could have been horribly expensive!

Good things:

CCD Commander is fantastic, and would be near perfect if I could get Maxim to bloody guide! Two frame IC1396, one half per night, perfect alignment for both bits!

Registar made short work of aligning the two parts, I just had to fiddle the curves/levels on both segments (2 separate layers to start with) in CS2 to get it somewhere near usable.

It only takes me 20 minutes to set up if the mount and scopes are already out

The Televue flattener (TRF-2008) appears to be doing its job nicely.

More bad things:

Something I do when out with the kit really screws my back up. I have to be really careful to watch how I lift things. No wonder its been getting better recently, I havent been outside since Kelling(!!)

So, anyway, lets get to the image:

Mount: EQ6 via EQMOD, plus CCD Commander
OTA: WO FLT98CF + Televue 0.8x flattener (@ f/5)
Guiding: ED80 + SX Lodestar + PHD
Imaging: M25C + MaximDL, 8×600s + 16x600s, Astronomik 13nm Ha (100 bias, 100 flats)
Stacked: DeepSkyStacker
Post Process: ImagesPlus, Registar, PSCS2
Notes: Need far more time on this to be able to process it as far as I would like. I will return to this in August/Septmber.

(Click on image for larger version… sorry, its a bit noisy!)

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