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Started on the Horsehead Nebula

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I've been dying to have a go at this for a year and last night I made a pretty good start I think.

I managed to get 3 hours in 5 minute subs in before it crossed the meridian and PHD had a little spasm. I tried to do a flip but didn't end up pointing where I started at, and being all upside down was confusing me so I thought I'd leave it at 3 hours and hopefully get another 3 tonight.

So here we go, 36 x 300 seconds + darks and flats. A fairly quick process, as I plan on adding more to this tonight.

I also used the red channel as a luminance layer blended at about 15% Should I just pull the trigger on a Ha filter and get it over with?!? :)


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That's a nice image Spanky. The merdian flip stuff initially used to cause me issues as well, but all I do now is wait until my target is 10 minutes past the meridian line (Stellarium shows you exactly when this is, you have to click on viewings/markers to see the merdian line) - then ask the mount to go to the target again. The mount flips, and then I rotate the CCD 180 degrees, then take short subs of 20-30 seconds to get a star pattern which I match up against a saved screen-shot of the star patterns before the flip. It's all in the right orientation now, and you just have to align to get the main star patterns as they were before. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought once I got the hang of it.

What I've been doing lately is imaging up to the flip, doing the above and then once the framing is good I leave the set-up the rest of the night with the main power plug on a timer so that the power cuts out after 3 hours - that way the mount etc shuts down and you get 3 hours more data whilst you're tucked up in bed. Need to check that no cables etc will snag beforehand, but so far this has worked well for me.

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Martin, I did try that and it did end up pointing back where I was, but then the image is up side down on the screen isn't it? I would only have had about another 30 mins or so before it went behind next door's house so I didn't bother trying to suss it all out. I'll do it another day.

I wish I could leave it out all night, but I just don't trust the weather!

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