Horse Head, Owl and Cone Nebulae

Horse Head Nebula – 123×30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, QHY183c plus L-eNhance filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.
Owl Nebula and M108 – – 127×30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, QHY183c plus L-eNhance filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.
Owl Nebula Detail – 127×30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, QHY183c plus L-eNhance filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.
A Work in Progress., the Cone Nebula – 63×30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, QHY183c plus L-eNhance filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.

An early morning imaging session.  I setup after 1:00 am and imaged until sunrise on Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019.  I managed to get decent amounts of data on the Horse Head and Owl nebulae, but I only got a little bit of the Cone before it went behind trees.

I will definitely want to shoot the Cone again with 2 more sets of data – one with the Optolong L-eNhance filter and one with a UHC filter.   It is a beautiful area with broadband filters, but too much LP from my current site to do it justice with one of those.   I think the two filters together shooting separate sets might do it justice from this place, though.

The Cave & Monkey Head Nebulae Plus The Moon

The Cave Nebula – – 242 x 30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, 26×240 sec @ Gain 20, Offset 31,-15C, QHY183c, L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6
Moon Composite – Dec 2, 2019
Monkey Head Nebula – 100 x 30 sec @ Gain 42, Offset 42, -20C, QHY183c, L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6

Sunday evening was beautiful here in Cajun Country and I did not let the night go to waste.   I shot a number of things, but I went back to the Cave Nebula early on to add more data to my existing image of it.

I shot the moon next, even though the seeing was not that great.   I shot 10 stills starting out slightly underexposed and progressing to over-exposed to show the dark part that was lit by Earthshine.    My experiment to blend them all together was not what I had in mind in terms of look and feel.  Plus, I had shot them in 8-bit mode instead of 16-bit mode in SharpCap 3.2.  It was a learning experience, I guess.   I’ll figure it out one day, hopefully.

I did the Monkey Head Nebula last and it hardly needed any post-processing.   50 minutes worth of data was enough to show most of it.   Guiding and composition were good and the image was easy to post process.   I packed it in after this, since it was nearly 2:00 am and I needed at least a few hours of sleep before work Monday morning.   lol

Like before, these images were all taken from a metro area with Bortle 8 red zone light pollution levels.   An Optolong L-eNhance filter was used to shoot through the muck.

A Quick Tadpoles Shot

IC410, aka, Tadpoles Nebula, QHY183c (-20C,) 100×30 sec @ 30 gain, 31 offset, Optolong L-eNhance Filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

This is data from the same dates as images in the three previous posts before this one.  There were so many things I wanted to shoot in these sessions that were Ha, but needed 3 or 4 times more exposure to do them justice.   I scouted for what would be brighter Ha targets and did some test stacks trying to get the feel of how much certain things would need.

This one was one of the bigger and brighter targets I tested, but I could tell the less than an hour’s worth of data would need lots of work to make it into a presentable image.  Another one of those works in progress, I guess.   I gave it nearly an hour but it really needed at least double that as a start and 4x that for something exceptional.

M81 and M82 from the Big City

M81 and M82 Galaxies. Two sessions of 354×15 sec and 240×30 sec, both with a QHY183c.

Two sessions combined to produce this shot.  One was taken with the UHC filter and the other was taken with the Optolong L-eNhance filter.   Total combined time is nearly 3.5 hrs.    Not too bad considering the location where they were taken – a Bortle 8 Red Zone.

M33 Triangulum Galaxy with the L-eNhance Filter

M33. 30×240 sec, QHY183c, Gain 11, Offset 31, -14.1C, L-eNhance filter, TV-85 at F/5.6.

Well, my luck with the weather allowed me to keep my promise and try out the new L-eNhance filter on a galaxy, in this case, M33.   It came out surprisingly well considering this filter is not really made for galaxies.  M33 has enough H2 and OIII regions to make things interesting, however.

I used Unity gain (11) with 4 minute subs, captured and LiveStacked in Sharp Cap 3.2.   I also kept all the individual frames and tried stacking them in IRIS, but the LiveStack was better in overall quality, so I did not go beyond stacking them and viewing the results and just discarding it.

Below is the combined data from the above with 10×120 sec sub-images taken with a UHC filter:

M33. 10×120 sec, Gain 30, Offset 31 @ -25C, QHY183c, 30×240 sec @ Gain 11, Offset 31 @ -14C, QHY183c, UHC and L-eNhance Filters, TV-84 at F/5.6.

So far, the L-eNhance does well for any H alpha objects and has a much more uniform background than my cheapo UHC.   The UHC filter has a red to green diagonal color gradient always present and is exaggerated by the degree of LP in the shot, with long exposure stacks suffering the strongest.  Not fun to deal with, but I’ve managed.  Probably a quality control issue with coating uniformity for the cheap filter, I guess.

Since there is no uniformity-caused gradients with the L-eNhance, it lets me see the scope’s vignetting with this camera setup.  Looks like I’ll need to start using flats in SharpCap to compensate, since vignetting is now noticeable.

Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters