I am amazed at how much signal is in just 6 minutes of sub-images for this new camera, QHYCCD’s QHY183c. When you take the shot, there is really not much there without significant stretching of the image. But, since the noise is so low with this cam, it can be boosted beyond anything a DSLR image could keep up with.
Now, I did do quite a bit of noise reduction on the Veil image included here, but it had enough signal to preserve enough detail to make the image adequate for a display image. I reduced it 50% to smooth it out more, but the original size is OK, too, just quite large to be downloading on a mobile phone.
Clouds were why the session was so short. I was clouded out when it was in a prime position early on, then it went completely overcast at the end. In between, I manged to get the 6 x 1 minute subs . I gave up and tore down and stowed the rig after I couldn’t shoot anymore. Almost as soon as I had put away the last piece of gear, I went back out and it was totally clear, just like when I had started setting up. Sucker holes and I fall for them all the time. lol
I was actually just testing some tweaks to my laptop I did hoping that they would improve performance. I added memory and updated a few drivers. Stability was vastly improved, but the speed of the machine lacked. I could not do a, “live,” shot of the moon at the lower exposure needed. It would not stream with the exposure less than 350ms. Too many frames per second for it to keep up with, I guess. Means I need another field laptop. 🙁
I started this session at midnight on Sat/Sun, Nov 2nd/3rd, 2019. It was cloudy, but the forecast said it would eventually clear. I went to bed early and woke up at midnight and checked and sure enough, it was clear. I managed to get these two objects plus some other stuff that I haven’t had time to mess with.
The seeing was horrible when I shot the Crab and it shows. I decided to take that data and combine it with previous efforts to see how it would look. The image below is the result of 3 different sessions, 3 different cameras and 2 telescopes. Check it out:
I bought the adapters needed to mate my new QHY183c camera to my Canon lenses. I tried it out with the 200mm F/2.8 telephoto. No way to control the F-stop diaphragm, since it needs a Canon camera to do that, so I had to shoot with it wide open. BTW, this was from the light polluted metro area I’ve been shooting from lately.
Since this is one of the cheaper lines of Canon lenses, it suffers from optical imperfections like astigmatism. That makes the red focus to a line up and down and blue and green focus to a line left to right. It really messes up the star shapes and there is no way to fix it except to stop the lens down to F/3.5 or higher. Oh, well…
I’ve been trying to get enough data in one session for a rendition of the Horse Head with my new camera. Each time, my session was cut short due to trees in the way, the break of dawn or clouds. This morning was no exception and clouds ruined my session even before the sun could.
No matter. I took all the short, incomplete sessions I had and combined the data into one composite image. I even used the BW stuff I had before I got the camera working correctly with the right drivers. I estimate I have about 70 minutes of time in the above image, with up to 4 separate stacks combined into it.
After a few all-nighters during the recent good weather we’ve been having down here in Cajun Country, I must say I’m worn out. LoL. But, I had lots of fun shooting very dim objects through Bortle Red Zone skies that I would have never thought would let me capture what I did. Modern progress with astro-filters and more sensitive cameras save the day! Plus, none of the stuff I bought broke the bank.
Since I shot the Eastern Veil with the new setup, I had to try the western part, aka the Witch’s Broom. It was easy with the QHY183c and a cheap UHC filter. I got 45 minutes worth of 30 second sub-images and they stacked automatically in SmartCap 3.2. Star colors could be better, but this is about normal for a UHC filter shot. The red channel was not quite in focus, however. I fixed it after acquiring the data for the above image.
I shot 3 other objects on this night, Gamma Cas, M33 (again) and the Horse Head Nebula, with 2 of them completed. I got clouded out during the last session with the Horse Head. Below are the results:
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters