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Oct 2nd, 2020 – Mars and Moon Conjunction

The Moon and Mars on Oct 2, 2020. TV-85 at F/5.6, QHY183c at -15C, L-eNhance Filter.

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.

The Butterfly Nebula

The Butterfly Nebula on Oct 2, 2020. 247×15 sec, Gain 37, Offset 200, QHY183c at -15C, L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

For a night with a full moon, this came out pretty good.  Good transparency helped.  Minimal processing with only color balance and saturation/hue adjustment tricks were used.

M16 – The Eagle Nebula

M16 – The Eagle Nebula on Oct 2, 2020. 40 minutes in 160×15 sec sub-images, TV-85 at F5.6, L-eNhance filter, QHY183c at -15C, Gain 37, Offset 200.
M16 – The Eagle Nebula on Oct 2, 2020. 40 minutes in 160×15 sec sub-images, TV-85 at F5.6, L-eNhance filter, QHY183c at -15C, Gain 37, Offset 200. Cropped.

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.

Trifid Nebula, M20 in 16 Minutes

Trifid Nebula, M20 on Aug 21, 2020. 65×15 sec, Gain 30, Offset 218, Optolong L-eNhance filter, QHY183c at -10C, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

Here’s a very short run I did on the Trifid Nebula.  An extra short quickie with only minimal processing.  I was interrupted by a couple of young gents who saw me imaging in the front parking lot and wanted to see what I was up to.   They also wanted to see Jupiter, so I obliged.  By the time I got back to the Trifid, it was already about to go behind a tree.  Oh, well…

I am hoping to get this object with about an hour of exposure at least, if not more.  To that end, I added what I had taken before with my SN8 and Canon XT camera to see how it might look.  The additional data was 54 minutes of 3 min ISO 800 subs.  It is about a half-n-half blend:

Combined data from SN8 scope and Televue TV-85 scopes, about 70 minutes total.

M8, The Lagoon Nebula on Aug 21, 2020

M8, the Lagoon Nebula on Aug 21, 2020. 240×15 sec, Gain 30, Offset 218 QHY183c at -10C, Optolong L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

I had been wanting to get some data on this one for quite some time.  Finally, a clear night with no big commitments the next work day came along on Thursday evening, Aug 20, 2020 and I got my chance.

I setup my rig in the front parking lot of the place where I stay at instead of the usual back alleyway.  It was the only place to get a clear view without trees and street light glare interfering.

I used the Optolong L-eNhance filter, which works really well for this object.   I did an hour’s worth of exposure, which was enough to tamp down the noise enough for a decent final image.  It could use more and I might add to it later if I get the chance.