Markarian’s Chain (Partial)

I had a little more then an hour left over on a clear sky night and I decided to turn to Markarian’s Chain – A string of galaxies that form part of the Virgo Cluster.

On the left is the picture, which is heavily cropped, that I ended up with and the one on the right is annotated by

Equipment & Stats
Meade Series 6000 80mm Triple APO Refractor
Canon EOS Ra
Optolong L-Pro Filter
Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro Mount
ZWO 30mm f4 MiniScope (guide)
ZWO ASI224mc (guide)

60 x 60s
20 dark, 50 flat, 50 dark flat and 50 bias frames

The Rosette & Cone Nebulae

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

Rosette & Cone Nebulae – Annotated by

Rosette Nebula | Caldwell 49

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.

Statistics –

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)

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.

Equipment –

Meade Series 6000 80mm Triple APO Refractor
Canon EOS Ra
Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro Mount
ZWO 30mm f4 MiniScope (guide)
ZWO ASI224mc (guide)

Scorpius & the Milky Way #3

Scorpius & the Milky Way
Scorpius & the Milky Way

Scorpius and the Milky way enhanced like the previous couple of posts, I think it came out a lot better. Shot details for all of these pictures remains the same as before.


Cygnus with the North American Nebula
Cygnus with the North American Nebula

Canon EOS 350D, 30s exp. 1600 iso, f.18mm, apt. 5.6 – Sprewell Bluff, just outside of Thomaston, GA USA

The North American Nebula can be seen as a reddish smudge in the lower left corner of the constellation

More Constellations – Sprewell Bluff – Thomaston, GA (07/01/08)

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.

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