After doing a widefield session where I was able to get both M42 and the Horsehead Nebula in one frame, I decided to look at some other targets I could do with my set up and one, or rather two targets umped out right away: The Rosette Nebula and the Cone Nebula.
Both of these targets quickly became favorites of mine, especially the Rosette. I spent five days in January getting almost 12 total hours of data integration and loved every minute of it. The Cone Nebula, which includes the Christmas Tree Cluster started out a little rockier, but with another evening of data beyond my first, came out really well too. This time I was able to get both of the Nebulae in the same frame at the same time!
TPO UltraWide 180 f/4.5 Astrophotography Lens & Guide Scope Canon EOS Ra Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro Optolong L-eNhanced filter ZWO 30mm f4 MiniScope (guide) ZWO ASI224mc (guide)
30 x 300s 20 dark frames 50 flat frames 50 dark flat frames 50 bias frames 800 ISO – Bortle 8
Captured in APT with guiding done with PHD2. Stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop
I began this project on January 7, 2021 and was able to reach my goal of 10+ hours on target on January, 22, 2021. I was able to take images on the 7th, 10th, 18th, 20th, 21st and the 22nd with the first two nights being clear, transparent and all my gear working properly. The next three nights were supposed to be clear but I battled intermittent clouds and was not able to gather the amount of data that I thought I was going to be able to. The last night that I collected data I had clear and transparent skies, all of this despite having a 1st Quarter Moon up, however, it took a couple of hours to troubleshoot my mounts alignment process, which I still haven’t gotten back to where it was before the 22nd. Note: I still use the hand controller and do a 3-Star alignment mainly because I have not had any issues at all. This issue I believe was my fault – I chose Capella as my first star and went to it with no problem. I chose Sirius as my second star, however clouds came in before I the mount pointed to it and I decided to wait – on the star – for the clouds to clear. This took around 15 minutes and I think the wait messed up my mounts internal correction. I decided to realign one it clear up but the mount was not going to correct locations for the stars. I eventually got it close enough to get to the Rosette Nebula to finish up my data collection.
Over the course of the six sessions, I used the L-eNhanced filter by Optolong for five of those nights. I used the Optolong L-Pro for one night. I wasn’t planning to use the L-Pro data but I liked the final stack a lot better with it. It helped give the background a little more balance and helped give the stars some color versus just ending up the same color as they can do when using the L-eNhanced only.
L-eNhanced: Jan. 7, 2021 – 40 x 240s (800 ISO) Jan. 10, 2021 – 40 x 240s (800 ISO) Jan. 20, 2021 – 19 x 240s (800 ISO) Jan. 21, 2021 – 37 x 240s (800 ISO) Jan. 22, 2021 – 23 x 240s (800 ISO)
L-Pro Jan. 18, 2021 – 55 x 60s (800 ISO)
Taken from Providence, RI under Bortle 8 skies. Average temperature was 33°F (0.5°C). Darks, flats, dark flats and biases used for calibration on all sessions. Tracking and dithering done with PHD2. Image capture done with Astro Photography Tool (APT). Stacking done in DeepSkyStacker and processing done in Photoshop 2021 CC. Plugins and tools used in PS include GradientXtreme, Topaz Denoise and Astronomy Tools Actions.
Meade Series 6000 80mm Triple APO Refractor Canon EOS Ra Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro Mount ZWO 30mm f4 MiniScope (guide) ZWO ASI224mc (guide)
Here is some more pictures from July 1 when I was out at Sprewell Bluff. In this batch, I have one of my favorite constellations – Coma Berenices, as well as one of my more favorite shots of late, Saturn, Mars and Regulus. Also included are some of Cygnus, Lyra and more.
Again, all pictures taken with the same specifications as mentioned in previous posts.
The constellation Scorpius along with the Milky Way Galaxy. Within the Milky Way, several other features are noticeable, such as M7 (Ptolemy’s Cluster) and M20 & 21 (Trifid Nebula). Though the resolution of these, and other nebulae and star formations are not great, you can still see that they are there and where they exist.