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Moonglum - Flame Fail

Stub Mandrel

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Thanks to a nasty bug or two, last night was only my second night's imaging since before Christmas, so I was determined to get something. I was determined to try longer subs on my 150PL, knowing I would have to throw away about half of them without guiding.

I thought M42 would be the best target, being bright, and also I could get my short subs of the trapezium.

I focused with the screen but didn't use the bahtinov mask, so although I got all four stars clearly separated, they are each a little doughnut shape :-(

I didn't refocus for the longer shots (60 seconds was as long as I could go at ISO1600 and even then the core was burnt out - but I have 30-sec subs I can use to correct that). problem was every sub is badly trailed as I must have knocked the PA out when rotating the camera to improve the framing. Polaris had drifted well away from its circle in the polarscope. All useless.


I refocused and got 50 60-second subs of the Flame and Horsehead, of these 23 have got tight round stars. On the plus side Alnitak has split nicely and the bits of bright nebulosity came up well.

On the down side, the moon and LP gave a huge gradient, and even after gradient exterminator the background of the pic is hopeless and the poor horsehead is only visible with a decent dose of imagination.

This is the result, I don't think it's worth trying to rescue it. At least it hints at the detail I will be able to get with better subs. :-(


So lots of lessons learned, hopefully I can do better when the moon has faded in a week or so.


On the plus side, if my laptop still works after being left out and getting coated in ice, I have several thousand frames of Jupiter Ganymede and Io to explore.

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