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  1. Pickering’s Triangle (Seimis 3-188) It is a little early in the season to be imaging this object as it didn’t appear above my local horizon until 00:50 when I started the project earlier this month but with nights getting shorter as we approach the summer solstice, it made sense to make an early start even though it took several nights to capture the data while ducking and diving between the clouds and early morning mist! Discovery Pickering’s Triangle is part of the supernova remnant known as The Veil Nebula in Cygnus. The Veil Nebula itself was discovered by William Herschel in September, 1784 but this faint region was only later discovered photographically in 1904 by Williamina Fleming at the Harvard Observatory. The discovery was made post publication of the New General Catalogue (NGC) so it isn’t included in the catalogue. Although it wouldn’t happen today (I hope!), the custom of the time was to credit the discovery to the lead astronomer, in this case Edward Charles Pickering, the director of the observatory. Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha and 3nm OIII Subframes: 6 x 1800 sec Ha, 13 x 1800 sec OIII Integration: 9.5 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 Description The nebula can be found in the north-west quadrant of the Veil Nebula near NGC 6974 and 79 (see whole Veil Nebula image below). Lying around 1,400 light years away, the beautiful filamentary elements are the expanding shock-wave from the progenitor star that went supernova here somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. Position within the Veil Nebula Visually, the nebula responds well to the use of an OIII filter as the region is rich in OIII emissions as can be seen in the blue/green filaments in the above images. Photographically this is a wonderful object that responds well to both LRGB and narrowband imaging and the example shown here was captured using Ha and OIII filters. Although there are sulphur emissions (SII) in this region, this object responds well to my favourite imaging method of 'bi-colour’. This process uses just Ha and OIII filtration wherein the OIII data is mapped to both the ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ channels and the Ha is mapped to the ‘Red’ channel. The greyscale images below show the individual Ha (left) and OIII (right) images used to produce this image. As you can see from the 'Stats' above, I have a whole load more Ha to collect to complete the image! The individual Ha and OIII images
  2. I really didn't expect to get two hours of data on anything last night but once the skies cleared they stayed clear all night. I also didn't expect the observatory to run as well as it did considering I was trying out a couple of software upgrades for the first time (PHD Guiding 2 and Nebulosity 3) but it did. To cap it all off I was attempting to use my Teleskop Service 65mm quad astrograph for what it was intended for the first time - wide-field imaging. In the past I'd just concentrated on single objects - but it would do really well on mosaics so I thought I'd start with a really large object that barely fit on the chip - the Cygnus Loop. I've imaged the objects in this remnant a few times before (poorly) and I was looking forward to what they'd look like all joined up in one image - although not a mosaic it got me thinking about planning the frames. The processing of this image is ongoing:-) Scope: Teleskop Service 65mm Mount: NEQ6 GuideCam: QHY6 Camera: QHY8 oneshotcolour 8x15min captures Nebulosity 3: Flats/Bias; Standard Deviation stacking; auto colour adjust Photoshop: Star reduction; curves/levels etc
  3. I'm back - into DSO imaging After a couple of years away due to the weather and other things I have myself a new imaging rig for widefield. Trying the new ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool CMOS camera in conjunction with Asahi Super Takumar 135mm f2.5 lens and Atik AFW2 filter wheel. EQ8 mount looking huge in comparison Friday night into Saturday morning gave me lovely clear sky for several hours and after a few very short trial runs I was able to grab my first decent imaging run for ages. All subs were 30s exposure with lens at full aperture, no guiding. Taken with Astrodon 5nm Ha filter. Software (still in Win7) was CdC plus EQMOD ASCOM for mount control and APT for image capture, followed by DSS and Photoshop for image processing. I captured 8 subs of the North American and Pelican Nebulae and 53 subs of the Cygnus Loop though DSS only chose 4 and 26 respectively in spite of much fiddling with the settings. Both stacks were cropped to the DSO area with the Cygnus Loop rotated to fit the screen better. Then these images were histogram stretched in Ps plus Enhance DSO & Reduce Stars and Space Reduce Noise applied to the Cygnus Loop. The images still being at least twice the maximum size allowed for posting here, size was reduced to 1200px in the biggest direction. Saved in PNG format.
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