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.
This is data from the same dates as images in the three previous posts before this one. There were so many things I wanted to shoot in these sessions that were Ha, but needed 3 or 4 times more exposure to do them justice. I scouted for what would be brighter Ha targets and did some test stacks trying to get the feel of how much certain things would need.
This one was one of the bigger and brighter targets I tested, but I could tell the less than an hour’s worth of data would need lots of work to make it into a presentable image. Another one of those works in progress, I guess. I gave it nearly an hour but it really needed at least double that as a start and 4x that for something exceptional.
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters