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Having had to move to an apartment where I could not use my CPC 1100, I decided that I have to see what I could do with my NexStar SLT 102 (alt-az achromatic 102mm f6.47 refractor). Setting up on my narrow balcony was challenging and the altitude bearing was so loose that it almost moved from the weight of the Canon 700D. I could not see M31 in the estimated 3.5 magnitude sky so I did a two star alignment and used the live-view to focus on a bright star. I then took a 15 second exposure after slewing to M31 which allowed me to see that I had it in the field of view. After a few more 15 second exposures and playing with the motion controls I managed to get it centered. The resulting picture is from 39 subs of 30 seconds at ISO 1600, 9 flats. The images were stacked and stretched with Siril and then I played with the curves on Gimp, cropped and scaled. Not too unhappy.
Just thought i'll bring this up as a point of discussion. Today, cooled CMOS Astro Cameras are available in plenty. QHY, ZWO and other variants of the same camera are selling for very reasonable prices. However, there was a point of time when astrophotographers used to cool down their DSLR's as a cheap OSC alternative to CCD cameras. Give a choice, I would've purchased a dedicated CMOS OSC which can cool to 40 C below ambient, but since I had a Canon 500D which I had self modded, I requested a friend Kaustav Chatterjee (an avid model railroader) to cold mod my 500D (he had cold modded his 1000D long back). This newly modded camera has a TEC12703 single peltier and cools to approximately 20 below ambient.What do you guys think?
I want to get a GOTO mount for my newtonian scope. Originally I looked at a bigger Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount but I'm now thinking something smaller would be best. Otherwise it may be a bit too heavy to take out into the garden for me, so I'm looking at the EQ5 series and the HEQ5 Pro looks to be very good. I've compared it to the Celestron Advance VX which is priced about the same and like the specs for the Sky-Watcher.
Some questions, before I buy a new HEQ5 Pro in the UK - I think the spec has changed very slightly as changes get rolled out:
1. Is the supplied SynScan HC a V4 e.g. star base of 40,000+ objects e.g. used by all the other Sky-Watcher mounts, it has been described as 13,000+ which may be a typo in the on-line literature? For me a few 100 would be OK...
2. Is the polar alignment scope built in (included) and does it have red (adjustable) illumination of the reticle controlled by the HC?
3. Is there a D Type connector or is it now USB e.g. to control/update HC?
4. For visual use, is a 10kg scope within it's workable capacity?
5. Is there a supplied Vixen (green) dove bar included in the box? It comes with 4 bolts to attach a scopes rings? I'm assuming it's not possible to use a Losmandy (wide) dovetail saddle e.g. only a (narrow) Vixen mount e.g. it doesn't allow for both types?
6. Discussion about a PSU suggests Halfords 17A car charger @ £50 is a good way to remotely power it?
7. Can it also be used for "casual" astrophotography as well as visual e.g. reasonable tracking?
8. Is there anything not to like about it or that you should be aware of before buying?
By lux eterna
This is 6 hours (30 x 12 min), taken with my modded Nikon D7000 @iso200 and Astronomik 12 nm Ha 2" filter on Meade LX200-ACF with reducer (=1600 mm FL @ F8). Guided with NexGuide on HEQ5 Pro.
The plan was to do a Ha O3 bicolour on this target, but the O3 may be a future thing due to weather conditions.
I usually remove the stars during part of my processing workflow and put them back later on, but this time I think the nebulosity and dust came out best without them. I did however try to find out which stars belong to Melotte 15 and include only those, just to portrait the Melotte 15 without anything between it and us, but I could not find that info.
Processed with DSS, Starnet and PS.