Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
For first light for my new scope & focuser, I decided to revisit this small galaxy in Lynx.
SW Explorer MN190 on SW AZ-EQ6, with Pegasus Focuscube Camera: ZWO ASI174MM-Cool at -20 C, gain 20 Guiding: SW finderguider 9x50 with ASI120MM-S and PHD2 Software: INDI/Ekos for data capture, and PixInsight for processing Total integration time: 4.4 hrs
L: 36 x 120 s R: 24 x 180 s G: 20 x 180 s B: 19 x 180 s
(click on the image for a larger version)
I hadn't quite anticipated the extra weight on my mount, especially the weight combined with the larger distance. I couldn't balance the scope even with the extension bar and both weights, so I had to improvise with a few clamps. I couldn't add the extra weight from the ST80. I had to guide with my 9x50 finder, which I normally only use for polar alignment.
Also, today I noticed that the collimation still was a little off. It was WAAAY off when I unpacked the scope. The laser dot hit the primary about midway between the center dot and the edge. Collimation with the help of my barlowed laser put it quite close. Today I used a collimation cap to fine tune it.
I'd been struggling with gettings subs longer than 60 seconds unguided, as I had to throw away over half of them. I suspected that it was due to periodic errors with the gears or similar with my Celestron AVX. I am using a 2.25 barlow, so my 130slt OTA was very prone to small errors. I looked into doing PEC training, and performed that on this night, and oh holy grail if that didn't produce miracles! I had only done two trainings and averaged them, and I then went from doing 60 second subs, and throwing half of them away, into doing 180 seconds unguided subs without hardly throwing any of them away! This really made me grin like a maniac that night, as it was just like flicking a switch and everything worked perfectly!
So I immediately went to shoot a new target, which became M63. I had looked for galaxies to photograph and this one looked very appealing to me, from the images I found. I ended up gathering a total of 42 subs (+ the ones I ended up throwing away due to satellites, focus slip, dew on secondary etc), and 25 subs! There is still a lot of aspects I can improve on, but the simple fact that my capabilities took such a leap on one single night, simply amazed me, and definitely made up for the weeks on end that it has been cloudy/too windy! My polar alignment was very good that night, so I could probably have pushed it more, but I thought I should rather stay safe, and learn gradually.
Processing is also something that still needs quite a bit of practise. I did like 5-6 versions of this one, and this is the one I liked the best of them.
2 Hours 6 Minutes light data
Celestron SLT 130 OTA + Celestron AVX Mount
Baader 2.25x Barlow
Nikon Backyard, Stellarium, Photoshop CS2