A quick outing before the weather got bad as a tropical storm hits from the Gulf. I wanted to test the new T-adapter fittings I got for the AT60ED to attach the camera instead of using the 1.25″ eyepiece adapter, like I had to do for the first light images.
First Light Images for a new Astro-Tech AT60ED telescope. Nice 360mm F/6 doublet with FPL-53 synthetic fluorite and Lanthanum lenses. I bought the 0.8x Reducer/Flattener that goes with it, too. It gives you a 288mm F.L. at F/4.8 with that combo. Resolution is still good at 1.72 arc sec/pixel with my camera.
These objects are the Eagle Nebula, Trifid and North America Nebulae. All were taken with a QHY183C camera at gain 20, -15C cooling and a cheap no-name UHC filter from a metro area, Bortle 7-8 zone.
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:
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.
I was having a good night of steady seeing and really good guiding (<1.13 arc sec error) for this object and the Pleiades on this night. I went until it was time to flip and the guiding was starting to degrade. 78 minutes worth of subs was good enough to show this object well.
Not too bad for a session from the metro LP zone! Only 96 minutes, but it was enough with these settings to show quite a bit of nebulousity. I used the unity gain setting (11) and that made a big difference in hot pixels and noise. My other shots at a gain of 20 were plagued by hot pixels that SharpCap 3.2 doesn’t seem to be able to deal with very well. I like this much better and there is just as much data buried in there as in the higher gain shots.