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Finally, first light for the AG12: M81 / M82 + IFN


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Hi guys!

I've finally decided it's time to stop playing with the data from my AG12 first light and come up with a final result from the processing. The AG12 from Orion Optics UK is a carbon fibre newtonian astrograph. With 300mm aperture, and a blazing fast focal ratio of f/3.8, it really gives an interesting match to my QSI 583, landing at an image-scale of 0.98 arcsec/pixel, and still superfast so no need to bin(yuck) the camera to achieve the desired pixelscale and speed.

This gives me really high resolution and still a relatively wide field of view compared to other rigs sporting this resolution.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to drive out to the obsy & give the scope the collimation and ccd/corrector-distance tuning needed due to a knee-injury, but it performed quite fine even though the ccd/corrector spacing was off with 4-5mm (!)

One of my main goals with this image was to try to lure out the überfaint IFN (Integrated Flux Nebulae) lurking in the background between these two famous galaxies (sidenote: the IFN is in our galaxy).

I found it very difficult to reach a natural balance between mega-stretched background IFN and more realistic stretch of the galaxies, so I ended up with two versions, one where I held back on the background to give the whole image the kind of look I prefer in images, and one version where I stretched away, the disney-version. And of course, annotated versions of 'em both.

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 images for full-res version:


Click images for full-res version:


And the annotated ones:



Hope you enjoyed the first look, I can't wait to try the scope out with the correct tuning!

Best Regards

Jonas Grinde

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What a beauty!!!

Your set up is very weel tunned, remarquable star shapes for a f/3.8 system :)

Love the processing, very clean and very natural, about streching the IFN, have you seen this tutorial, maybe it works well for this image: http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark.com/DSLR-LLRGB-Tutorial/12-ScreenMaskInvert/12-ScreenMaskInvert.html

This is a DSLR worflow but it can also be taken with a CCD :)

Congrats on such a fine image,


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