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Who knew renovating a house could take so long - and it's still a long way from being finished (maybe I shouldn't have tried to tackle it all myself...)
But having finally uncovered some of the boxes containing my kit, and with a bit more free time than normal, I decided to have another go, starting with one of the top targets this time of year. (I am working from home, honestly).
I felt like I was learning again from scratch. But at least I've discovered the masked stretch. This image might be over-saturated for some tastes, but what can I say, it's the first time I've managed to get any colour in my
20x10 mins L
Altair Astro Wave 115 refractor, SBIG STF8300M, GM1000HPS (never managed to get it to track unguided, but at least it can be guided now)
Because of the current situation, I have, as many of you guys probably have too, spend a lot more time under the stars when possible.
It has literally been over a year since last I was out doing some astrophotography because of work.
So here is my second take after the long break, NGC 3344 (The Sliced Onion Galaxy).
Initially I thought it would be a lot fainter than it was, so it was basically a shot in the dark, of just trying to get back at doing this.
But the final image actually showed a lot more detail than I would've hoped for!
Spring lent a lot of clear night, but those seems to be gone already. I would've hoped for a few more hours to add some more luminance data to it, as I did have to push it quite a bit.
I am not too happy with the shape of the stars either. Guiding was not very stable through the night, even though balance and polar alignment seemed to be good. Might need to update my Celestron PEC data?
Any advice or feedback is very welcome! 🤩
NGC 3344 (Sliced Onion Galaxy)
Luminance - 13x16 min
RGB - 2x16 min each
Flat and Dark calibrated
Total Integration - 5 Hours 4 minutes (LRGB)
Celestron AVX Mount
ZWO ASI 183MM-Pro
Baader 2'' Neodymium Filter
Baader 1,25'' RGB Filters
ZWO Mini EFW
Explore Scientific Coma Corrector
ToupTek Camera G-1200-KMB Mono Guider
Orion Mini 50mm Guidescope
Deep Sky Stacker
It figures! First clear night in ages and the pollen is as thick as..well, something really thick. Up to now, I have been fairly careful to avoid dust getting down the tube, but pollen is going to be unavoidable for the next several weeks.
So...what does one do? Are there some do and don't things I should be aware of? It looks like my mirror comes out fairly easy (SkyWatcher 10" ). I'm guessing "chuck into the dish washer on the pot scrubber setting" is probably a really bad idea.
What then, is the plan? What chemicals/detergents should be used...or maybe all chemicals should be avoided? Is it a no-touch surface? Is there perhaps some magic spray that one uses? I do have a can of electronics air that I plan to use from a safe distance to persuade away loose pollen, and that may be enough for the present.