These are all the objects I managed to image on the night of Wednesday, April 29, 2020 and on into Thursday morning. SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking with dark and flat calibration plus dithering was used for acquisition. Only minimal processing for all of these captures in Fitsworks and PS CS3.
I was trying not to waste a very clear evening after a storm had moved through earlier that day. Not too bad, I guess.
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.
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.
Here is an interesting experiment I did in shooting short, 10-sub x 30 sec “subs-stacks” with LiveStacking in SmartCap 3.2 and stacking the stub-stacks in IRIS. I used Fitsworks first to orient the 5 min stacks taken after the meridian flip with the first batch. Final post-processing was done in PS.
I squeezed in two other shots this night – one of the moon and a test for guiding I did on Mirach. The test involved changing the PHD2 camera selection to the Ascom Toupcam driver instead of the regular version I used that gave trouble in the last session. That solved a problem with the camera dropping and losing connection.
Similar to NGC 981 above, I did twelve 10-sub stacks of Mirach for 5 minutes each for a grand total of 60 minutes of exposure:
The moon was out and after shooting NGC 891, I captured it in a .SER movie with 100 frames. I used 20 to make a still with the AutoStakkert software. Here’s the result:
Very clear conditions this night, but seeing was mediocre, with strong LP and moonlight interference. Cold for Cajun country, too… it got down to mid-to-upper 30’s. Brrr…
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters