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Had a clear, but v cold night here last night (11th Dec), and got the widefield rig out again. Skies weren't too great, despite the cold - a covering of snow always seems to make for much brighter skies.
I imaged the area around the Flaming Star Neb (IC405) using the modded 350d + Canon 85mm EF combo. Here's 79x5min (6h35m) at ISO400, f4, through an IDAS P2. Lens is a bit sharper at f4.5, but wanted to try and get as much signal as poss, without completely wrecking the stars.
I offset the framing to have a tilt at getting the SN remnant Simeis 147, the Spaghetti nebula (Sh2-240). Bearing in mind this is a non narrowband image with an uncooled camera, I'm fairly pleased to see it there (though v faint!!!). Most definitely one for an HA filter attempt with a more suitable rig! Would have been nice to have M37 not quite so close to the edge... :-/
Original and annotated at 2048px width below.
Thanks for looking!
Another widefield I took on 25th/26th Nov using my Baader modded 350d and Canon 85mm EF f1.8 USM (working at f4.5). This is 21x5min, so 1h45m total taken at ISO400 using an IDAS P2 filter from here in Oxfordshire.
I'm sure the region doesn't need too much introduction. To be honest, it needs a lot more exposure, and arguably taking with something more sensitive with less read noise! Being a bit further south would help me too...there was a heavy dose of DBE to sort the gradients out here.
Barnard's Loop, the Bogeyman, M42/3, Flame and Horsehead all relatively easy, and the dusty stuff (part of The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex) that extends between them passing by M78 is reasonably obvious, though the fainter stuff is all a bit noisy still. There's also the bluish nebulosity LBN 915 *just* on the limit of visibility to the right of Sh2-278 that extends around the right of eta Orionis. As I said though, it all needs much greater SNR, and less need to resort to MMT for noise reduction... (any more and it started to adversely affect the image).
Both images reduced to 2048px width here for convenience.
Thanks for looking.
I took these images on Sat 25th Nov from here in W Oxfordshire. I've got the widefield setup running now using a RPi3 running KStars and Ekos. This controls a modded, uncooled 350d (with Baader filter) and a serial shutter cable, an Arduino motor focuser (as a Moonlite compatible focuser) and the Losmandy GM8 it all sits on.
Images were taken through a Canon 85mm f1.8 EF lens at f4.5, exposures were 45 x 300sec (3h45m total) at ISO400 through an IDAS P2 filter. The field is a whisker over 15x10 degrees. Processing was in PixInsight and a bit of work in Photoshop to reduce a bit of amp glow that didn't calibrate out fully.
Fairly pleased with this (though the Heart and Soul have come out maybe a little red - the colour calibration uses PI's PCC tool, and the IDAS filter might throw it a bit), but there's some other areas of interest coming through in the image. Annotated image attached but there are a few other bits that PI doesn't grab - there's a small area of reflection nebula (LBN 142.14+01.97) to the left of Sh2-202 that's just coming through. Also, unlabelled are Stock 2 (between the Heart and the Double Cluster) and for the interested clouded out astronomer, galaxies Maffei 1 and 2 are visible in frame just below the Heart (labelled as Sh2-191 and Sh2-197).
Thanks for taking a look!
I've always wanted to do this modification. But now winter is upon us and the fun stuff is coming out so I finally decided to give it a serious attempt. I picked up a faulty 350D on eBay for £15, tested it and found that the fault was nothing more than a dud battery. I ripped it apart and carefully dismantled the sensor. The coverglass came off very easily with a razor blade. Things were going well until without thinking I went to wipe some of the dust off the surface and hit a gold wire. Ok, so I gritted my teeth, picked up another sensor on eBay for £20...Only this time I cut the razer in half and stuck the two sides down so they covered the amazingly delicate gold wires. Absolutely no problems from then on out. I practised various techniques on the broken sensor and found the wooden tool I made worked best. I used the handle of an old brush and carved it down to a sharp flat blade about 3-4mm across. It took about an hour to completely remove the material. Right now I have the camera in a semi-assembled state for testing. I've taken a few test shots, but without a CF card right now I cannot upload them just yet (That's another eBay order on the way). There is a very thin line of colour on the top and bottom of the images as the razer guides overlapped a bit preventing the removal of a mm or so of the matrix. I don't mind that at all. I can see though I have a bit of cleaning work to do in some places so I'm about to start work on a dustproof glovebox for a second disassembly and cleaning. It's a lot of work but I'm having so much fun.
Quick process of 12x5min from my modded 350d using a Samyang 14mm lens at f2.8 from last night, taken from our campsite near the Dorgdogne Valley - tracked using a GM-8.
Flats, Darks and Bias applied (oh, flats are fun with this lens...!) - and rudimentary processing in PI (BPP, DBE, Background Calibration , CC, Histograms, etc), will have another go when I get home on decent internet with a proper monitor.
One thing is that I'm not 100% convinced about this lens - think I'll be doing some further testing as I think it has some decentering. I'm not expecting the world with it wide open, but it's worse to the lower portion than upper if you zoom in (looking for some advice from owners of this lens perhaps!)
Thanks for looking
(EDIT: See reprocessed version below!)