“Thor’s Helmet,” aka NGC 2359. First time I ever shot this with any camera. For years I’ve passed this guy up for bigger or better objects nearby, but not on this night. It was a main goal for this night’s imaging session. It did not get high enough to image until 2:00 am here and I took a nap as soon as I started it going. Luckily, I got enough data before sunrise to make a half-decent final image
UPDATE Nov 13, 2020:
More time added with 30×120 sec sub-images at Gain 20, offset 200 to the above. Total time 3 hrs, 22 min.
I was killing time while waiting for Thor’s Helmet to get into position, so I shot the Horsehead and Flame Nebula region. I used Fitsworks to crop out the dithering artifacts and set a black point and do the initial color balance. Photoshop and some hue and saturation adjustments to finish it off. Then, one pass with color blotch action and one horizontal banding removal action later and this is how it came out. A few other tweaks were done, too. Not too bad for the minimal effort and a full moon night.
A beautiful evening for the Moon and Mars conjunction on October 2, 2020. Condition were so good that I was able to capture the moon rising behind a tree. Usually the muck is so thick at that altitude that I would not be able to get a good image, but this night it was extremely transparent.
The moonrise shot was a single frame. I had to do a composite for the still image of the Moon and Mars together. 10 frames were stacked in AutoStakkert of just the moon and 2 Mars frames were combined for the disk of Mars.
The MP4 video file is the first time I have tried including one in a astrophoto post. It is small enough in size to download in a reasonable amount of time. Video editing software I used was rudimentary and I really couldn’t get the background color corrected very well. I’ll have to find something that can do that job for future projects like this.
I shot this while waiting for the Moon and Mars to get higher in the sky on Friday, Oct 2nd, 2020. After shooting some moonrise shots, I turned the scope to this and got 40 minutes of sub-images before it went behind a tree.
It was also the first time I imaged using a generator for power and a battery backup unit to keep the scope running if I ran out of gas and had to refill the tank. I got a great deal on the generator that I could not pass up. It will work better in the field with my current imaging setup than the battery system I had before.
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters