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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pacman Nebula.....1 year progression

Not quite 1 year ago I took my first picture of NGC 281 The Pacman Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This was taken with my Canon T3i & Orion ST-80T refractor. I used 12 stacked frames, 10 at 2 minutes and 2 at 6 minutes:
Taken on January 18,2012

Shortly after I bought a Canon T3 and modified it myself by removing the stock IR filter. I took this with the modified T3 and  the same Orion ST-80T. 16 stacked frames, 11 at 2 minutes, 5 at 5 minutes.

                                                        Taken February 3,2012

Late in the summer I purchased 3 Astronomik clip-in filters(Hydrogen Alpha,Oxygen III and Sulfur II) and attempted narrowband imaging using both of my Canon cameras and 2 telescopes.
Orion ST-80T & modified Canon T3 for Ha & SII
Orion ED102CF & Canon T3i for OIII
R=SII 6x600 ISO800
G=Ha 6x600 ISO800
B=OIII 7x600 ISO800
3h 10m
Taken September 7,2012
It was my first attempt at narrowband imaging and I used the Hubble Telescope palette in processing. I found the Canon DSLR produced alot of noise and started debating on whether or not to get a CCD camera.

After considering everything, I decided to get a QHY9M CCD camera. This was one of my first attempts with the new CCD.

Camera QHY9M
Telescope: Orion ED102CF
L-5x1200 sec 1x1 bin
R- 3x1200 sec 1x1 bin
G-3x1200 sec 1x1 bin
B- 3x1200 sec 1x1 bin
Images taken Nov 17,2012 & Dec 12,2012

Although I really like the Hubble palette, I don't have the correct filters to image narrowband with my CCD. So in photoshop, I used the colors from the previous DSLR version(the Canon cameras) to create this "hybrid"
It's basically a stack of the DSLR narrowband and current image. I used the blending mode of "colors" in the layers tab after aligning and scaling the DSLR image to the current image.
Hopefully soon, weather permitting I can re-image the Pacman in narrowband with my CCD