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3 Galaxies, 2 Planets and a Nebula


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I had a good night of imaging last night and I thought I'd share the results with you for thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Equipment used for DSO's was my new Atik 314L+ (colour), purchased at a bargain price from Astrofest. This is my first cooled camera. Scope is my trusty 250PDS on NEQ6, guided by a Lodestar through an OAG with Baader MPCC. The OAG guiding part, I am still a novice at and this was made all the more tricky because I decided to do away with the ST4 cable and ascom pulse guide for the first time. Talk about trying to bite off more than I can chew!

The planets were taken using a DFK21 something or other, with a 3x Televue barlow with extender to achieve 4x.... again with the 250PDS.

Points worth noting are..... I need a IR/LP filter for the Atik. I'll probably go for the Astronomik CLS CCD.....My flats are not good as can be seen lower right hand corners. I'm in the process of building a lightbox out of foambaord to solve this..... Pulse guiding needs practice, but was pretty stable for M51 at the end of the night (4am).... M81, M82 and Crab Nebula were only 6x2min subs. More of a try out really..... M51 is 50x3min subs and hopefully more colour will come when LP is filtered out..... My image editing skills are pretty basic and I use a combination of basic processing in Nebulosity (DSO's), Registax (planets) and then pass as .png's to GIMP for more levels, curves, saturation, etc. I then pass back as .jpg's and do some cropping and bits and pieces in Picasa.

So there you have it and I look forward to your comments, etc. I hope you enjoy my work :D







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I thought I'd leave out the flat frames, that were introducing vignetting, from the DSO's above and spend some more time post-processing to see if there was anything to improve on. I think there was. I must say I'm very impressed with the Atik314L+ considering M1, M81 & M82 were just 6x2min subs - much less noise than I was expecting. I guess that's what you get with a sensitive chip, less noisy electronics and set-point cooling.





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