Category Archives: Nebulae

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.

October 15, 2022 Imaging Session – North America and Lagoon Nebulae

Lagoon Nebula – 7×240 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
The North America Nebula – 26×240 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

I managed to get 2 good images for a short imaging session on Oct 14, 2022 (Oct 15, UT.)  I was at my new location on a pretty clear night (at first) and getting good sub-images without any LP filters.  Clouds came and eventually shut me down at about 10:30 PM that evening, however.  Plus, the moon had risen by that time and would have ended the session anyway.   I was lucky to get what I got, I guess.

Both images were captured in SharpCap 4.x and needed very little processing.   I wanted to do a mosaic of the North America nebula, but it was not to be that evening.  But, I did have some duo-band filtered data taken from the city that was pretty good, so I combined it to do a mosaic anyway:

Combined data of the NA nebula using the data from this session and data taken in June of 2021.

Veil Nebula Site Test

Veil Nebula, Oct 1, 2022. 7 x 240 sec, Gain 11, Offset 100, 65×30 sec, Gain 30, Offset 60, QHY183c at -15C/-20C, UV/IR filter, Astro Tech AT61ED at F/4.8.

I have a new imaging location I tested out for this session.  I only shot one object, the Veil nebula, with various exposures to see what the results would be.  No filters except a UV/IR (clear) and exposures up to 4 minutes per sub-image.

This is 7×4 minute subs plus 65×30 sec subs for a total of about an hour of integration.   I could have almost doubled the 4 min exposures to 8,  since the LP was minimal.   But, I only had darks up to 4 minutes long and was not going to burn time shooting more, so those were the longest.

Conditions were very good, very transparent, average seeing and not too cold.  I was not prepared to stay all night, unfortunately and I should have brought along my insulated coveralls.   It got a little chilly just sitting at the computer and not moving.

Update:  I had some data of the same object taken from the city using an L-eNhance filter and the same scope, so I mixed a little bit of that in as luminance for just the nebula to see how that would look:

Enhanced with 1 hr of additional L-eNhance Filter Data from a previous session (just the Nebula.)

 

The Pleiades From the City – Combined Data

Combined data – 32×180 sec taken with TV-85 and 35×180 sec taken with AT60ED.

RegiStar let me combine two shots, one from Nov 2021 and one from Jan 2021, both taken with my QHY183c camera, but with two different telescopes.   Both were from the same location – a very light polluted metro area, using a Baader UHC-S L-Booster filter.

I am pleased that the UHC-S filter has this much response to blue reflection nebula while keeping out the enormous amount of LP that I have to shoot through here in the city.

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.

November 7, 2021 Imaging Session

Earthshine from the Moon on Nov 7, 2021. An overexposed thin crescent and Earthshine from a 2 to 3-days old moon. 2 sec at Gain 42, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8, QHY183c at -15C, Optolong L-eNhance filter.
Witch’s Broom – 20 x 180 sec at Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY-183C at -15C, Optolong L-eNhance filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
California Nebula – 51 x 180 sec at Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY-183C at -15C, Optolong L-eNhance filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

From last night, Sunday, Nov 7, 2021 local time.

I stayed out till almost 1:00 AM shooting this image of the California Nebula. It is 2.55 hours of 3 minute sub-images (51×180 sec) calibrated and stacked in SharpCap 3.2 LiveStacking. Taken with a QHY183c camera at -15C cooling, an Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8 and an Optolong L-eNhance filter. Metro area location under heavy light pollution, but clear and transparent skies.

At the beginning of the session, the moon was beautiful next to Venus, but I could not fit them in the same field of view. So, I decided to catch the Earthshine before it got too low.

The Witch’s Broom was taken to kill time while waiting for the California Nebula to get into position.

Elephant’s Trunk Nebula (IC 1396)

IC 1396 with the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. 30×180 sec, QHY183c at -15C, Gain 11, Offset 50, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8, Optolong L-eNhance filter. Taken from a metro-area under heavy LP on Sep 26, 2021
Detail View – IC 1396 with the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula (IC 13996A.) 30×180 sec, QHY183c at -15C, Gain 11, Offset 50, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8, Optolong L-eNhance filter.