Only 30 minutes of exposure for this test image of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) with a TPO 180mm F/4.5 Ultrawide Astrophotography Lens. Askar is the OEM and the lens is a small APO triplet with 40mm objective that has 2 elements of FPL-53 glass and includes a triplet reducer/flattener, making it a sextuplet full-frame astrograph. The spot diagram for this lens shows that it doesn’t quite produce perfectly round star images, however, even at the center. But, some of that is correctable during post-processing and the lens produces a pretty flat image regardless.
I also did 70×3 min subs for the Veil Complex that I took before the M31 set. That turned out like this:
The middle of a work week and I go and pull an all-nighter imaging session. Weather was too good to pass up the chance. I must be insane or obsessed – or both. lol
It was worth it. I got some good data and was able generate these 3 images so far. They’re still in the preliminary stages, though. Each were essentially saved as seen from SharpCap v4’s LiveStack module. I just did some basic adjustments in PS to make them pretty but are not the final product. I’ve been so busy with work and also recuperating from a bout of some kind of a stomach bug that I haven’t had time to devote to make final renditions.
I got 3 hrs for M31 and about an hour each for the Orion and Horse Head Nebulae. I used 5 minute sub-images for most of this session. I little too long for my mount’s sometimes iffy guiding, perhaps, but mostly correctable in final post-processing, which I will eventually get to.
Update: Finished the Orion Nebula / Running Man post-processing job and also work on the very first image taken during this session, the Eagle Nebula. I actually got the Eagle going first and then put it on the back burner, since I did not have very much time on it.
Update 10/31/22: Finished the Horse Head and Andromeda Galaxy post-processing:
Another galaxy with short exposure time. This one was only 22 degrees above the southern horizon at the Bortle 4 site south of Perry, LA. I had to boost the saturation quite a bit to get it this colorful, since the sub count was low. But, at least it was buried in there and not all zapped out like when I have to remove lots of LP.
It surprised me how well this came out with only 3 sub-images. I was at the observing site south of Perry, LA where it is a Bortle 4/4.5 zone, which helped quite a bit. It was the first time I have used my QHY183c astro camera with just a clear UV/IR filter, which showed me how sensitive and noise-free this camera really is.
Great weather and very transparent skies for this session. I started out with the goal of getting two comets, but since they didn’t get into position until later, I started off with the Moon, then M45 and M31. I also shot Pickering’s Triangle, part of the Veil Nebula complex, but didn’t get enough subs to do it any justice.
The comets were small, but interesting with long tails instead of being just puff balls. 67P has a really long tail in images taken by others. I was glad to get as much as I got shooting from the middle of town with all the LP.
3hrs of exposure for this nice edge-on galaxy. It got cloudy towards the end of the run and there was a serious guiding error on the full 61×180 sec stack. But, I managed to salvage the stack by copying the background and galaxy and pasting that in as a lightened blend on top of a 47×180 sec saved stack for the stars that did not have a guiding error. Lucky I saved it before it got ruined.
The night of August 7th/8th, 2020 was relatively clear, but hot and slightly muggy. Average transparency at first and below average towards the end of the night. I wanted to get out to my dark sky site, but at the last minute decided to stay in the big city, being that the conditions were not ideal.
I observed quite a few things and did quickies on them and some of the images are not really worth being posted. Here is one below of the Ring Nebula, which was. I was actually after the little galaxy next to the ring, IC 1296, which my Canon cameras never showed despite shooting the ring with them from much darker locations. It is nearly 15th magnitude and even dimmer in blue light, where it predominantly radiates
Below is a rendition from previous sessions data and this nights efforts.
Finally, with the Witch’s Broom Nebula data from this night and 2 other nights, I combined the data to make this updated rendition of the W. Veil/Witch’s Broom Nebula. Check it out:
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters