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I get a bit of a kick out of dragging as much out of minimal data as possible
Took this last night, packed up early though as it was getting icy and treacherous. I think by the time I packed away it was -5c.
Anyway this one actually came out better than i expected and i'm pretty pleased so far
55x120s stacked and processed primarily in APP and final touch up in Photoshop. Also used my L pro max filter for this, which no doubt helped.
@Stu, @GavStar and myself met up for a bit of club observing Thursday night… cloudy so good that we met down the pub. Someone (not sure who) pointed out it was clear, so we headed out to stand and chat under clouds with a chill breeze for more than 2hours waiting for the skies to comply with Sat24. Finally we spotted what looked like the edge of the clouds… the others got ready to polar align. OK observing under a near full moon is not ideal.. but it does help with setup and checking your charts!
So what to look for… using Gavins new “magic eyepiece” we headed straight for the Horsehead, just visible, the flame slightly more so above. We were using a TEC160 on a goto panther mount, with 55mm plossl and the TNVC adapter to the intensifier, using a 6nm hydrogen alpha filter to “help”. The gain control worked really well to tune the balance of brightness (and noise) vs detail. The “white phosphor” giving a very neutral and “natural” view.
Right, where next? Up to the jellyfish ic443, nice gentle curve easily visible, checked on the monkeyhead nearby. We then cruised down to the seagull which filled the view and then tried to ferret out the medusa Nebula… it evaded us this time. Swept over the the pacman, the heart and then the California nebula. The latter as two broad nebulous bands crossing the field of view. We need to try a smaller scope to give a bigger field of view for these really big nebulae.
Swapped in a longpass filter and checked on M35 which looked great, M3? and then M81/82, very clear dark lane in the latter.. Clouds finally made a return and we packed up the wrong side of 1am, feet nearly frozen solid. Seemed like many of the streetlights had turned off as well, which is interesting to note. Going to be fun to poke this setup at nebulae when the skies are a little bit more conducive to observing.
This is an LRGB image with Ha blended in the Lum and Red channels.
The Lum was quite faint, even after over 3hours, so I decided to blend quite a large amount of Ha in order make the image reasonably bright and not too red. The Ha is also blended into the Red channel but at a much lower level. I made a slight change to the Hue, towards the green, in order to get a slightly more appealing red. In total, the image represents about 13 hours integration time.
First a slight aside: I quite like trees but they can be a bit frustrating when you have a target object (eg IC443) that is visible for a couple of hours, disappears behind trees for a couple of hours, reappears for a couple of hours and then finally disappears. To overcome this I've programmed ACP with my highly undulating horizon so my scope acquires other objects when others are hidden - the joy of automated imaging...
Anyway, back to the image which represents about 13 hours of integration time - I decided to go for a LRGB image with an Ha blend in both the Lum and Red channels. I was surprised that even with a relatively long exposure on the Lum it didn't pick up more of the nebula, so I decided to blend a higher than my normal Ha percentage into the Lum so that it would appear reasonable bright and not too red.
LIGHTS: 20; R:10; G:10; B:19 x 600s; Ha:7 x 1800s. DARKS:30; BIAS:100; FLATS:40.
Now, when I finally have some clear skies, the moon spoils it all, so I have played around with data from last month on the Jellyfish Nebula. It is my DSLR data with Francois Theriault's CCD Ha data as luminosity.
Equipment in Sweden: ES 127ED refractor with TS 0.79x reducer (=f/5.9) IDAS filter and Canon 60Da on EQ8. Equipment in Canada Antares 8" Newtonean (f/5) and SBIG ST8300M and Bader Ha 7nm filter on CGEM.
65 x 300" exposures = 5.4 hours