On Thursday, November 30, 2017 I tried my luck with “lucky imaging” of the moon. I set the capture to 100 frames each and took top, middle and bottom images of a waxing moon a few days from full.
I ended up using only the top and bottom panels since there was enough overlap with the TV-85 and the Toupcam IMX224 camera in those two panels. Each panel is the best 50 frames.
After a basic levels adjustment for all layers , I used the wavelets filter in the Astra Image Photoshop plug-in to do an initial sharpening of the merged image and then a SmartSharpen filter to finish it off. No other processing was done to the image beyond the above.
Update: Friday, Dec 1, 2017 moon image with the same setup as the above.
By luck I framed this one with M31 and the Cassiopeia region and got all the good nebulae that were in the area to boot. You can see the Heart and Soul Nebulae, the PacMan Nebula, emission nebula NGC 7822, and other smaller nebulae like the one near Gamma Cass. The Double Cluster is there along with lots of other open clusters.
It is not the best lens and I did do some distortion correction in PS. It was a little difficult to process since this was the first time I used the Astronomik CLS filter. Before, I had one light pollution filter and two cameras, so I finally got another one so they both have one. All I need now is a small mount for light loads like the setup I used here and I could get two cameras going at the same time. Yeah, buddy! 🙂
I salvaged what I could of this one. I had problems with the acquisition of the sub-images and it was mainly caused by dew. I had to wipe the lens down several times and every time I did, the focus or focal length changed. I was able to fix it by installing a dew heater strip on the lens, but that was not until the next set.
I gave up on these after an hour of fighting it. I should have installed the heater before shooting, but I was in a rush to get data and there was not any dew problems in the beginning.
But, at least I got something out of it. Anyway, here’s a portrait orientation version of the data with North at the top:
Instead of my usual dead-end road site, I drove a few more miles west of there to a new site I’ve been wanting to try out. It is only 50 minutes total trip time and you get a borderline Bortle 3/4 site with a really dark southern and southwestern horizon.
The west is pretty dark, too, but there are various small light domes from the west-northwest to the north. The northeast has a larger light dome from a metro area in that direction and the east has some smaller ones here and there. There is a line of trees from the southeast to the northeast which blocks the LP from those areas, which is good. But, it would not be the best place to shoot early morning comets, for instance, since you can’t see the eastern horizon very well because of those trees.
It is definitely dark there. Rated a 0.22 radiance level on a light pollution map. At one point, I might have glimpsed M33 naked eye, but I was not sure. If it would have been more towards the west I’m pretty sure I could have seen it. Moonrise was at midnight, so I quit early and did not get a chance to try for M33 when it was in that area of the sky. Maybe next time! 😉
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters