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During the 3 clear nights in a row, I had last week, I could not resist giving the Horsehead Nebula a go, using my Vixen VC200L.
Whilst imaging with my Canon 450D via APT, I could not make out the Horse's head whatsoever on my laptop screen, but I knew I was on target, because I could see NGC2023, at the bottom of my screen.
Anyway I was pleasantly suprised with this result after processing through APP and tweaking in GIMP.
Not the total failure I was expecting.
Vixen VC200L Telescope
Canon 450D camera unmodified
All I could do before fog ended the night:-
x20 120 sec Lights, x20 100 sec Lights, x10 80 sec Lights, x10 40 sec Lights
x21 Darks, x40 Bias and x40 Flats
Processed in APP
Between the clouds, moon, neighbour's roof, nearby floodlights, and all the usual general life stuff, i've simply not been able to get any meaningful data on the HH (or Orion for that matter either) for the last 2 years! To say it's been my nemesis would be an understatement. At this rate i'll be glad to have that box ticked proper before i hit 50 ?
So when we had a few hrs of clear sky (and no moon) a couple of weeks back i knew i had to give it a go. I luckily managed 9 x 7mins before it disappeared behind the neighbour's roof. I also have 5 subs of Ha (90 mins in total) from last March, although it wasn't of great quality (there was a nearly full moon right beside it, plus the neighbour's fire smoke was billowing up through the Fov ? ).
I've been waiting patiently for more clear skies to add to this, but that 's not working out too well, lol. I really shouldn't be processing this, but all work and no imaging makes Ciaran a dull boy, so here goes nothin...
9 x 7mins with an IDAS-D1
4 x 1200s and 1 x 900s of Ha
~2.7 hrs in Total
Stacked in APP and processed in PS. Lots of heavy lifting needed in PS, and i've reduced it to 50% in size as well.
For now, at least, this will have to do. There's a lot of good HH's about so hopefully this one's not too hideous! ?
I'll post what the 2 raw stacks looked like below as well, just for kicks.
Here's the 9 x 7 mins raw stack (with DDP stretch):
And here's the ~90min Ha raw stack:
Reading a few articles about the HorseHead Nebula and wondered if I could bag it visually.
It's a clear night on January 1st and a back garden session chasing my quarry with my 200P Dob. It's bloomin' cold (-4°C) outside and I'm wrapped up like a Michelin Man.
The seeing is fair to good. Those who have read any of my other reports will know I'm very fortunate to enjoy Bortle 3/4 skies to the South and my "test objects" M1, M33 are easy catches with a 27mm BST Starguider. M33 was also visible through 8x40 field binoculars before dinner, suggesting a good evening was at hand.
So onto the HorseHead. Moving Alnitak out of the field of view the Flame Nebula with the dark central band was plainly visible. Moving down and across I could see nebulosity surrounding the most eastern of the three close mag 7 stars. Spent a lot of time observing with options of 12 and 27mm EP's plus and O-III filter that I had to hand. The filter made observing worse for this target, so that was put back in the case. The 12mm EP showed increased contrast of the faint nebulosity around the star and occasionally teased out a line of contrast extending beyond the three start mag 7 stars. It appeared to be IC434.
I swapped back to the 27mm and checked the Flame, which was brighter now. IC434 had a defined edge, dark on the East and lighter on the West but "fuzzing" in and out even with averted vision. It was pretty much on the limit of visibility.
In all I spent two long cold hours outside and I think I may have caught the HorseHead three times as a darker finger appeared through the line of IC434. Nudging the scope made sure it wasn't wishful thinking - there was something there. However, being pedantic, I couldn't say for sure it was the HorseHead as definition wasn't really there and IC434 was disappearing into the background then some minutes later reappeared. However, there is no other object in the vicinity that would present a darker finger ingressing into IC434, so I think it's quite likely that it was the HH.
I've read that a H-Beta filter makes observing the HorseHead easier, so that will be on the shopping list soon enough.
Although I couldn't be 100%, I'm fairly sure I did catch a glimpse of it and am pretty happy.
Returned inside to warm up, de-frost the scope and enjoy a drop of The Macallan, as is fitting for the New Year.
Wishing everyone clear skies for 2019!
Just had a lovely session on the winter targets that are now coming into view in the early hours. These were the targets that I first tried out my NV monoculars when I got them in November last year so it’s nice to give them another go with the greater experience and better equipment I have now.
This was also the first proper go with my Harder Digital Night Vision momoculars and chroma 5nm Ha filter combination. The views were fantastic - I compared side by side with my photonis 4g Night Vision and 6nm Astronomik filter and the gap between the two setups is large.
The angelfish was clear and showed good detail with the Harder whereas the photonis was only just showing a trace of the nebula. On Barnard’s loop the full loop was clear and obvious in the Harder whereas the photonis only showed the brighter top half. This was on 21.0 SQM skies.
There was just so much nebulosity showing everywhere with the Harder which I haven’t seen like this before. Lots of new things to have a look at in greater detail in the future.
With my AP130GTX and 40mm plossl (with 5nm chroma) the views of the horsehead, rosette, monkeyhead, flaming star, heart, California, Pac-Man, the Cone and Lowers were also pretty fabulous.
All photos were with my Huawei P20 Pro, unprocessed.
I’m really chuffed with my new kit! One of my best sessions ever.