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Was about to turn in tonight when I noticed it had finally cleared so I headed out into the garden planless for a quick look around with my recent eBay Hilkin 60mm f13.3.
Seeing was actually pretty steady & transparency up high improving all the time.
I’m still waiting on the Vixen converter which will allow 1.25 eyepieces so took out the array of .965s which are in varying stages of disrepair.
There is something satisfying about the way they slot into the split-cut diagonal with no thumbscrews - shame most of the higher powers seemed borderline unusable.
The 25mm though gives a nice crisp view and I congratulated myself on my bargain looking at some lovely tight concentric rings either side of focus on Vega before hopping up to Epsilon Lyrae.
Stepping down the focal lengths I was just about splitting the more southerly pair with a 12.5 mm (64x) and not a bad view. The 9mm (89x) on axis confirmed this lower pair & showed some elongation in the fainter, more northerly pair. Kind of dim view though.
The 6mm & 5mm were hopeless.
Popped the 25mm back in and took a pot shot at M57 which to my delight showed as a tiny but crisp circle. Tried to step up the magnification but it was not happening.
Enjoyed a nice contrasty view of Alberio for a while - really do like the tight pinpoint stars, good colour and inky background in this scope.
It’s a lovely still, warm night but the town clock striking two reminded me I have work in the morning so I took one last sweep around the rich centre of Cygnus.
I landed on a pretty little cluster a bit like a micro-Pleiades & realised I was looking at M29 - a thrill to have tracked down a new-to-me Messier object with this lovely old instrument.
I’ve hatched a plan to see how many of the lunar 100 I can observe with the Hilkin - seems a fitting task for it!
As I packed up a huge Skytrain of 20+ satellites went N-S behind Deneb - biggest one I’ve seen and amazing in its way.
Lovely all-analogue couple of hours well spent.
As open clusters go NGC 2281 doesn't have much to shout about when comparing it to the Beehive Cluster or Pleaides and appears not to be a common target for Astrophotographers. However, what it does have is a name which accurately depicts what you see.
It's a bit of a magic eye moment, but stare at the bright star in the centre of the frame. This is the 'point' of the heart which sits above it.
20 light frames of 100 s each.
15 dark frames,
25 flat and bias frames.
Taken with a William Optics Z61, ZWO ASI294MC Pro Cooled set at -15 degrees and unity gain all atop a Celestron AVX mount.
Thank you for dropping by.
Spent the last three nights imaging these three objects. Managed to get them all in the same frame of my ES 102mm FCD100 scope. Pretty happy with how it turned out. I would have liked to have grabbed a little more SII data. When I originally captured it, I thought I might only have two clear nights, so I imaged it as HA/OIII. Turns out there's almost no OIII. On the third night, clouds were supposed to roll in about 4am, cutting the imaging session short, but it stayed clear the whole night, and I got a full night of data with the exception that I got a late start due to technical issues when I first started imaging.
The ASI1600's halos are rearing their ugly heads on the two brightest stars. I tried to tone them down some by desaturating the colors around both stars...it worked a bit.
Another 15 hours and I could probably get rid of any remaining grain, but just don't have the clear nights to get it done. 15.8 hours total imaging time.
Celestron CGX Explore Scientific 102mm FCD100 ZWO ASI1600MM-C ZWO Filter Wheel with Astrodon 5nm filters ZWO ASI290MM Mini guide camera Stellarvue F50G guide scope
I finally got round to testing my new configuration using a Pegaus Ultimate Power Box. So now only 2 cables going to the mount for everything instead of a tangled spiders web. I'm pleased with the results so far, just have a few minor things to change but I just randomly picked a target of Messier 39 to test it all with and was not expecting much. But I was delighted with the result for something that was only going to be a basic test.
I got out of my depth on this one, surprisingly hard to process and the colour data was rubbish, not to mention all the other stuff that is wrong with the image! We are our own worst critics!
Anyway, the image is loosely centered on open cluster Pismis 4 backed by part of the Vela Supernova Remnant.
Telescope: William Optics FLT132
Guide Scope: QHY OAG
Camera: QHY9 Mono @ -20c
Filter Wheel: QHY 7 position Ultra Slim
Filters: QHY 36mm unmounted L R G B HA OIII SII
Guide Camera: QHY5L-II
Mount Control: EQASCOM
Focusing: SharpSky Pro and Sequence Generator Pro 3 (automated)
Bahtinov Mask: Yes (initial focus)
Capture Software: Sequence Generator Pro 3
Guiding Software: PHD2
Calibration and Stacking Software: PixInsight
Processing Software: PixInsight
Number and Type of Data Frames: L= 18X10 min, R= 6x7 min, G= 6x7 min, B= 6x7 min
Ha= x , SII= x , OIII= x .
Total Image Time: 306 minutes
Location: Lockleys Observatory B, Tanunda, Sth Australia
Light Box by Exfso
Thanks for looking.