Finally, the weather cleared after several weeks of clouds. This is typical for December down here in Cajun Country. With the clear conditions, I got a chance to try out a new UHC-S filter I purchased from Baader Planetarium. It replaces the cheap generic UHC filter I got from Amazon. Still shooting from the big city these days in Bortle 8 Red zone is a good test of these filters to see how much LP gets in and how well galaxies and nebulae show up.
I found out the L-eNhance filter doesn’t do much for galaxies unless they have lots of H-alpha regions. An hour worth of subs I took at the beginning of the month of the Leo Trio barely had anything worth keeping, so I only blended about 25% of it in to this image. The 450×30 sec Live Stack with dithering turned on I acquired in SharpCap 3.2 and the UHC-S filter was good enough to stand on its own.
Minimal post processing was done for this one, which is always nice after staying up all night imaging. lol 🙂
Before I shot the Leo Trio, I did a “blue test” on the Pleiades. I have 16 minutes worth of data and it shows how well this filter does with broad band and non-h-alpha objects. Check it out:
Six images bagged in one night, although a few need at least another nights worth of additional time. Big city light pollution was circumvented with an Optolong L-eNhance filter.
30 second sub-images for the DSO’s. The moon was 5 frames stacked in SharpCap 3.2. The Cone Nebula has 130 subs from last night and 63 from a previous session. I also shot M51, but it was only a few frames before twilight and was not really enough for a display image.
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.
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.
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters