Jan 3rd, 2024 – Equipment Test

M45, the Pleiades. 21x180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
M45, the Pleiades. 21×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

It is a Wednesday in the middle of the week, but the weather is clear and earlier that day I just received my new ZWO tilt-plate adapter.  The goal of getting it being to fix my skewed field of view of the AT60ED with the QHY294C camera.

I stuck it on, hooked it to the scope and twisted just one screw up and down a couple of times to see what it would do, then just barely turned it, just a bit and locked it down with the screw beside it.   This screw was in line with the landscape orientation of my camera and also the way the field seemed to be tilted.

I crossed my fingers and started shooting 3 minute exposures.   It had looked good with 2 sec shots, but I was not convinced until I saw the first normal sub-image.

Amazingly, the field was almost perfectly flat with just a little elongation in one corner!  It’s possible the extension tube I removed to put the adapter in place had sagging issues, but I think I just got lucky with the adjustment.  Maybe both.   lol  🙂

M78 and part of Bernard's Loop. 83x180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
M78 and part of Bernard’s Loop. 83×180 sec, QHY294C at -10C, Gain 1600, Offset 50, Antlia Triband RGB Ultra filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

I wasn’t planning on staying out long, since this was supposed to be just a test of the adapter session.  I thought I would be adjusting it all evening and not trying to shoot keeper images.

I picked the M78 area, since I had some data from the last session that got cut short by clouds.  It needed more time and this was going to be it.

I bagged 47 sub-images and with the 36 from the last session added to it in PS, the image above is the result.  The bad parts from the previous session with the worst star elongation were replaced with the new, which was mainly the top left corner.

Finally!  Success!  I was about to spend more money on a Petzval scope.  Glad I waited and tried this first.

 

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