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Veil, M31, M33 and M81/M82 from Wednesday night

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A nice clear night except for misty cloud creeping in towards the early hours of the morning, decided to push the Paramount ME a bit further and go for 4 minute unguided subframes for all exposures during the night and aiming to do 2 hours total for each subject. Due to misty cloud however the latter two images only produced a small number of usable frames. Details are as follows

Veil nebula 30 x 4 minute subs (all frames used)

M31 30 x 4 minute subs (all frames used)

M33 30 x 4 minute subs (12 frames used)

M81/M82 30 x 4 minute subs (4 frames used)

All images were done with a WO 66 with 0.8 focal reducer/flattener and a broadband filter with a Starlight Xpress M8C camera piggy backed on a C14 on Paramount ME, all images were obtained, aligned and combined in Maxim DL and the processing which consisted of levels and curves, mild noise reduction and touching up was done in Photoshop CS2. Will try for some longer subs next time and try a bit more on the processing side. All in all a pretty pleasing night apart from the misty clouds.


ANTICIPATION - waiting for the image to download on your computer screen

SATISFACTION - seeing the result when it appears on your computer screen


Please excuse the fact that these images are the wrong way round, I forgot to reverse them when I transferred them to Photoshop (apparently photoshop reverses fit files)




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As I said Gordon, your original 2 minute exposures, weren't really 'pushing' that paramount. Now you've doubled the exposure time, and the mount has taken it all in it's 'stride'. :D

Again, a set of very nice images.


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A very successful nights work there Gordon. Your setup has delivered the goods in excellent condition you might say.

And I do like to see these mono Images. There is just something about them that is real, for want of a better description.

Ron. :D

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BTW, i am using a Scopos 66mm F/6 APO, surely i should be able to get 4 min unguided subs from my HEQ5 too then?

Do you get any trailing at 240s subs?

I have to admit that I am very lucky that I have had the opportunity to do loads of overtime to be able to buy the Paramount ME, it's tracking even in its raw stae is phenominal and I don't think I have reached the limit of unguided exposures yet. The expusures you see here are all 240 sec(4minute) subs and without looking under the microscope there is no trailing and the stars are nice and round. I'm not sure of the capabilities of HEQ5 mount apart from the fact that it is probably unrivalled in it's price bracket, but it may be worth trying a few experimental sub frames of different exposures and see what the maximum exposure is before you get trailing. The other thing that helps is an accurate polar alignment and again with Paramount and Sky 6 software this is an absolute breeze to do, no drift alignment necessary, keep at it as the HEQ5 is a superb mount.

And I do like to see these mono Images. There is just something about them that is real, for want of a better description.

The first ever picture I saw was a monochrome image of the Andromeda galaxy in the first edition of the guiness book of records and I was gobsmacked, but when I saw the colour images that people were producing I was even more gobsmacked, but I have to say that I agree with you that there is something about monochrome and the way it portrays certain subjects, it gives atmosphere (if you will excuse the pun)

Thanks very much for the comments, I will endeavour to produce more images and carry on up the very long ladder of learning this fantastic hobby, can't wait for my Starlight Xpress H36 to arrive.

:D :D :D

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Even with the tiny pixels of the M8C at that short focal length I think you could expose for as long as your polar alignment will stand with the ME. Very nice indeed Gordon, particularly liked M31.

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Thanks a lot guys

I forgot to mention in the details I binned the M8C(not literally) 2 x 2 to get extra sensitivety as in it's native form the pixels are 3.15 microns which I think is more suited for camera lenses, mind you with the tracking ability of the Paramount I might try it in its native form when conditions allow for the extra resolution. When my Starlight Xpress H36 arrives I will be trying some Ha shots and try and get the benefits from the wider field that this large format has to offer. Would have been out again tonight as there are no clouds, unfortunately there is a freezing fog instead.




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