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Great night of Nebula Imaging


jonathancd
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First clear night for a good few weeks in London and pleased I was able the use the 6 hours of clear weather to image some emission nebula that were new to me.  These were all taken with my Altair Hypercam 294c with my Skywatcher 80mm Equinox and a O.8x reducer.  Even though there was no moon I used an Altair Triband filter to help with managing light pollution.  The image of the Cocoon Nebula and IC410 were each around two hours of 1 minute exposures, the Monkey Head was 45 minutes and sadly clouds meant I only had 8 minutes on the Cone Nebula.  Stacked with Sequator and processed in Photoshop. Really pleased with these and looking forward to spending more time with the Cone and Monkey Head Nebulas later in the winter.  Thanks for looking

Cocoon Nebula
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IC410 with tadpoles
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Monkey Head Nebula

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Cone Nebula with Hubble's variable nebula in the top right too

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Some lovely images there. It always surprises me that people go for more than one target per session. To me, 4 in one night is just crazy! I understand sometimes due to objects blocking the way or LP in a certain direction you need to switch half way through the night, but I always only image 1 target per night as I want to try and get a good 6-10 hours of data on a target if not more before I process it to get the best out of it? Just my thoughts. 

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4 minutes ago, Phillyo said:

Some lovely images there. It always surprises me that people go for more than one target per session. To me, 4 in one night is just crazy! I understand sometimes due to objects blocking the way or LP in a certain direction you need to switch half way through the night, but I always only image 1 target per night as I want to try and get a good 6-10 hours of data on a target if not more before I process it to get the best out of it? Just my thoughts. 

I agree you will not get an optimum image on an hour’s integration, but having recently spent 17 sessions over 3 months on a single image and only achieving a mediocre result, I really enjoyed whizzing around the sky on Saturday night and capturing 3 NB targets in a single session. I have a ‘fast’ system, so that made it easier.

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Thanks for comments.  If I know it is going to be clear, I normally try for a couple of targets in a night.  I have also found as I have to set up each time I want to observe that it is difficult for me to image an object over multiple sessions (mainly as I have yet to fathom plate solving and I don't guide either) that with wanting to keep an object on one side of the meridian that two to three hours is my limit.  I have recently (in November) moved to a dedicated astro-camera having previously used DSLRs so very much still learning.   Totally agree that the Monkey Head and especially the Cone, need much more time so hopefully with clear skies, I can try them again over the Winter.  

Edited by jonathancd
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Plate solving is a great time saver if you want to go to more than one target in a night, or particularly if you want to return to it on consecutive nights (as if that ever happens in the UK!)

I was a bit daunted about getting plate solving up and running but if you use an integrated package like APT/SGP/NINA and follow the tutorials carefully it is straightforward, NINA's version is blindingly quick.  Its been said that it is adds to the complexity and is not essential, but I wouldn't be without it now.

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