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So I know Orion has been down now for a while, but I just wanted to share this one. For me, it was a literal labour of love. Orion took on a more personal meaning for me at the tale end of last year, much more than just a target in the night sky. I won't bore you all with details, other than it was all very Romeo and Juliet.
Anyway, the one night we went for a drive the other side of Hereford (this was mid February), took a firepit, hot chocolate, jacket potatoes and some very warm coats! It was a blustery night, the intervalometer was acting up and Orion was still in Hereford's light dome kinda.
But, still managed to get some images with the 18-55 kit lens on the trusty Nikon 5300 despite all of that. Had all but given up on the stacking and processing 2 months later but decided to run it thru Sequator as DSS wasn't working for me. Was 2am, I was dead tired from work and my good old thyroid in full on flare. Happened to yawn, rub my eyes and momentarily refocus them on the laptop screen...to realise I could just very faintly make out Barnard's Loop. Spent the next couple of days rerunning the stack thru Sequator with different parameters to finally produce the attached image.
It's messy, it's noisy as hell, it's nowhere near technically correct, but for ME it's a very bittersweet image (two days later Romeo and Juliet parted ways) and a reminder of what happy is.
Anyway, I just wanted to share it.
Some old data from last November; before my camera was modded. The original image was processed with DSS and GIMP, the new version with DSS and StarTools. I'm still quite noobish when processing with StarTools. but its a really fun program to learn. On this image I forgot to desaturate the sky background to remove the LP colour glow--when I do a reprocess I will do that. I'm hoping that there will be some clear skies around November-December this year to get some better quality data. The streaky noise is caused by the rather noisy CMOS and no dithering--I didn't start using APT until the New Year. The gradient is caused by the secondary being not quite centred under the camera up/down the tube.
Around 1 hour of 2-3 min subs, ISO 800
EQ5 and 130P-DS, guided with PHD2 & 50mm finder/guider
EOS 1000d and MPCC Mk 4 + Cheap LP filter
New: (StarTools--Still a lot of work needed)
Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus
Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus
19 May 2018
Orientation: North is up
Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ).
Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x.
Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7\
Mount: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2
Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels)
image Plate Solver script version 5.0
Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px
Rotation .......... North is up
Focal ............. 1375.43 mm
Pixel size ........ 3.91 um
Field of view ..... 43' 27.2" x 28' 54.2"
Image center ...... RA: 13 04 51.790 Dec: -49 30 37.17
Blue Mountains, Australia
Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map )
Capture ( 19 May 2018 ):
10 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/2th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250.
( 41 x 240sec + ~8 each forthe other durations )
Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark
Integration in 10 sets
Pixinsight May 2018