Category Archives: Galaxies

M31 Lens Test – TPO (Askar) 180mm F/4.5 Astrograph

M31 – 10×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 30, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, TPO 40mm, F/4.5.

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:

Veil Complex. 70 x 180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Askar 40mm, F/4.5.

Here is a lighter version:

Veil Complex, lighter version. 70 x 180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Askar 40mm, F/4.5.

Imaging Session – Oct 19/20, 2022

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.

Eagle Nebula (Pillars of Creation.)  11×240 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Teech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Orion and Running Man Nebulae – 12×300 sec, Gain 11, Offset 17, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR Filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

Update 10/31/22: Finished the Horse Head and Andromeda Galaxy post-processing:

Horse Head Nebula on Oct 20, 2022. 10 x 5 min, Gain 10, Offset 0, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Andromeda Galaxy on Oct 20, 2022. 36 x 5 min, Gain 11, Offset 17, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

NGC 300 Galaxy in Sculptor

NGC 300 on Dec 23, 2021, 01:30 UT. 21×60 sec, Gain 20, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8

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.

NGC 253 Sculptor Galaxy in 9 Minutes!

NGC 253. 3×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
NGC 253. 3×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Full field.

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.

Imaging Session on Nov 13/14, 2021

The Moon on Nov 13, 2021. QHY183c, AT60ED at F/4.8.
The Pleiades. 35×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
The Andromeda Galaxy. 50×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Star Streaks Version. 40×180 sec (comet, 20×180 sec background), Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Star Freeze Version. 40×180 sec (comet, 20×180 sec background), Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021-A1 (Leonard). 24×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021-A1 (Leonard). 24×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Star Freeze version.

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.

NGC 4244 Edge-On Galaxy in Canes Venatici

NGC 4244 on Jan 17, 2021. 61 x 180 sec, QHY183c at -20C, Gain 11 (Unity,) Offset 100, Baader UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

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.

Here is a closer crop with a saturation boost:

NGC 4244 on Jan 17, 2021. 61 x 180 sec, QHY183c at -20C, Gain 11 (Unity,) Offset 100, Baader UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6. Close crop.

Black Eye Galaxy M64

M64 Galaxy – 25×180 sec @ Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, Baader UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

Another Black Eye galaxy shot to add to my collection.  Not quite the guiding I was getting earlier in the evening, but it is not too bad, either.  Minimal processing done to this one.

Imaging Session Aug 8th, 2020

Witch’s Broom Nebula. 1.75 hours in 30 sec sub-images, gain 42, offset 150, QHY183c at -15C, UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.
The Moon on Aug 8, 2020. 7 frames stacked with SharpCap 3.2 LiveStack, UHC-S filter, QHY183c at -15C, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.
Pacman Nebula – 188×15 sec, Gain 30, Offset 150, QHY183c at -10C, UHC-S filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

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

Ring Nebula and IC 1296. 372×15 sec, QHY183c, Gain 30, Offset 50, -10C cooling, UHC-S filter, Televue TV85 at F/5.6.

Below is a rendition from previous sessions data and this nights efforts.

Ring Nebula and IC 1296. 34×30, 4×15 sec, Gain 42, Offset 100, 372×15 sec, Gain 30, offset 50, QHY183c -10C to -15C,, UHC-S filter, Televue TV85 at F/5.6.

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:

Witch’s Broom Nebula, combined data. 90×30, 46×30 and 410×15 sec data sets all taken with the QHY183c camera and Televue TV-85.