We were blessed to be able to go on a quick two week trip down south from New England to see some of my wife’s family and some of mine. Unfortunately, even though I brought my entire astrophotography rig down, I did not very many clear nights. The one good night I did get, I was not in a good place to setup my entire rig (could not see Polaris to polar align, a lot of trees, etc). However, I still was able to get out and do some experimenting by taking one second exposures with the Canon EOS Ra attached to the TPO 180 Ultrawide Astrophotography Lens. One of the targets I choose to hit up was Betelgeuse. Late last year I promised a friend that if I ever had a chance to set my camera to Betelgeuse i would and I hate to admit that I simply never took the time to do so, until now.

Above is Betelgeuse with some surrounding sky with no annotation, annotated and in negative. I really had a good time experimenting while getting this shot. This data was collected in Griffin, GA.

100 x 1s (1600 ISO)
50 x 1s (3200 ISO)
20 / 20 darks, flats, dark flats and biases
Bortle 6
TPO Ultrawide 180 Astrophotography Lens
Canon EOS Ra
Tripod with Orion Panhead

The Orion & Horsehead Nebulae

Ever since I began doing astrophotography, both the Orion Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula were always high interest targets for me. Up until last October, once I got a mount that could track and a telescope with a focal length capable of taking images of these two targets, I had to settle for views through an eyepiece or trying to take a lot of short exposures at really wide focal lengths to try and get an image. Even once I got a mount and a good telescope, I was still restricted in getting one target at a time. I kept seeing people post pictures with both in the field of view, but due to the limitations of my set up, I was unable to do the same… until now!

Thanks to the TPO UltraWide 180 f/4.5 Astrophotography Lens & Guide Scope I was able to get both targets, and more, into the same frame!

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)

Do to how my setup is currently with this scope, it is impossible for me to rotate the camera to frame the shot differently, but luckily the framing was good to go how it was! I will be writing a post soon going over how I have it set up with my current gear.

26 x 300s
20 dark frames
60 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

Flaming Star Nebula – IC 405

Above is the Flaming Star Nebula (and some friends!) at two different focal lengths. The more wide shot was taken at 180mm and the more close up shot was taken at 380mm.

The 380mm was taken with the Meade Series 6000 80mm Triplet APO while the 180mm was taken with the TPO Ultrawide 180 f/4.5 Astrophotography Lens & Guide Scope. The plan for the TPO is to mainly use it as a guide scope, but since it is a triplet (like the Meade) I wanted to get some imaging done with it as well. The setup for this, at least for me, was, to say the least, uncomfortable, but I was able to make it work and get some data!

180mm – TPO Ultrawide 180 f/4.5 Astrophotography Lens with Canon EOS Ra
30 x 300s
15 darks, 50 flats, 50 dark flats, 50 biases
800 ISO
Instagram Link
Astrobin Link

380mm – Meade Series 6000mm Triplet APO with Canon EOS Ra
50 x 240s
20 darks, 50 biases, 50 flats, 50 dark flats
800 ISO
Instagram Link
Astrobin Link

Flaming Star Nebula & The Tadpoles
Flaming Star Nebula – Annotated by

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