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Preview of AG12 first light. Cigar-time! M 82


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Hi guys!

It's been a while since I posted, many projects taking up my time + an observatory-accident requiring surgery (who said astronomy isn't hardcore?)

I'm done setting up my Swedish RoR observatory working 100% automated, taking image-requests from my phone, ipad, or any other internet-connected device that has a web-browser... These requests ends up in a que, where my observatory makes the decision what to shoot, depending on several factors, naming a few: current phase of the moon, distance from the moon, altitude over the horizon, distance from meridian, custom priority, and such... When the weather gets clear (cloudsensor), and the sky is dark enough, the obsy turns on the power, connects all the gear, opens the roof, and starts imaging the object in my que that has the best position in the sky! The images gets saved in my observatory dropbox, and pops up in my home computer 12 kilometers away, just minutes after the sub gets downloaded. So now I have too much data to have the time to process it all, I'm slowly starting to work through the many gigabytes of unprocessed stuff. Much being thrown away due to noob collimation and "test shots"

I also finally saved up enough money and bought my dreamscope, the AG12 from Orion Optics. I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these since I first saw Peter Shah post his first images here.

I installed the AG12 just days before getting my knee surgery, so I haven't really had the possibilities to regularly driving out to my obsy and work out the optimal corrector-distance & collimation (very critical at f/3.8), so in this first light I had the sensor around 3mm-4mm off outwards from the optimal ccd/corrector-distance, still the results where good enough for me.

Sidenote: I actually shot most of the data being used for this image the night after my surgery, while sleeping in the recovery-room. Automation is awesome when you don't have the option to be "on location" with the scope very often...

The Scope:

Orion Optics AG12

Aperture: 12"

Focal lenght: 1140mm

Focal ratio: f/3.8

Imaging scale: 0.98" / pixel together with my QSI 583

The Mount:

10 Micron GM 2000 HPS

All subs unguided

The Camera:

QSI 583 wsg (with 8-position filterwheel upgrade)

Filters: Astrodon

The Subs (unguided):

Lum: 41 * 5 min

RGB: 11 * 5 min each channel

Ha: 12 * 10 min

Click here for full resolution


It's definately going to be a while before I get used to imaging with star-spikes :p

The full image will follow as soon as I have the time to finish processing the integrated flux nebulosity between M82 & M81

Thanks for watching!

Best Regards

Jonas Grinde

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Excelent resolution and colors :-)Cheers,paulo

Cheeers Paulo! I'm very happy with the resolution, especially since the seeing was pretty bad, 3.5" at most during the Lum. Not sure if it was tube-currents due to inactive fans (didn't have a cable long enough at that moment), or simply that the conditions are rubbish at my place.

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Excellent image :) I don't like spikes either but if you want a photon bucket I guess there's no option. I went for the MN190 which AFAIK is the biggest scope for a sensible price that dosen't have diffraction spikes.

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Much appreciated, folks!

I forgot to mention that this is just an 11% crop of the full image(I managed to squeeze in M81 too), but I thought m82 could hold the ground on it's own while I try to lure out the integrated flux nebulosity from the dark background. Full image coming up in a few days

Here's a overenthusiastic stretch to reveal all the faint "stuff" shooting out from the galaxy core:


Thinking about all the faint fuzzies in the background makes my brain try to turn itself inside out, it's kinda hard to fathom. That's why I'm loving this!

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The image is fantastic Jonas, a real cracker, and the automation really made me go 'dra mig baklänges'! (Mods, this is Swedish for pull me backwards - a way for us to express utter disbelief.

Your own clever coding or Maxim or something?


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Holy Macaroni Jonas!!!!

That is a superb M82, far and away the best I have ever seen posted on here. The intricate unforced detail in the dust lanes is amazing, you must have that scope tuned to within a millimetre of perfection :D

Very pleased for you, that looks to be a dream setup :)


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Oooh.......now that's really fine Jonas. A beautiful image excellently processed.

I know what you mean re. star spikes....I resisted getting a scope that would give them for ages, but I really like them now!

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