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Sunday, June 16, 2013

QHY5L-II & PST Solar,Lunar and Planetary

I decided to get a Coronado PST telescope and it arrived early this week. I tried to take an image or two with my T3i but could not bring the camera to focus. I did however snap one picture afocally with the T3i. I used a 18-55mm lens and pointed it straight into the 20mm eyepiece of the PST. I wasn't too concerned because I had a QHY5L-II on the way.
The QHY5L-II came on Wednesday along with the clouds. I had a clear afternoon on Friday. Once I learned the software and how to use the camera correctly, I started imaging. Focus wasn't even an issue. Once I put on the supplied nosepiece, it focused right away. My first image with the QHY5. 17 second video taken at full frame (1280x960) about 260 frames(@ 15fps).
Friday night was partly cloudy and I had an opportunity to image several more targets. The moon was out early, so in between clouds I imaged it with my AT65EDQ and Starlight Express filterwheel.
This is an LRGB image, 4 Registax processed  videos (:20s/each) stacked then combined in Photoshop.

I dusted off my 18 year old Meade 8" LX-50 SCT, coupled it with the camera/filterwheel and added a 2x's Barlow lens. It took a bit to find Saturn, I wish my blue dinosaur had GOTO. Once the clouds moved out long enough, I shot one minute videos through the LRGB filters. Each video file contained about 1100 frames and I shot them at 640x480. Stacked each video in Registax then combined the four resulting images in Photoshop.
Far better results than anything I've imaged before. Here's my best taken last June with my T3i

Saturday was very clear so I re-attempted imaging with the PST. This was four :06 second videos(100 frames each) which I shot 800x600. Stacked the 60 best frames from each video in Registax. Then I combined the resulting images in Photoshop.

So it was a good weekend with the new equipment! I created a quick composite to showcase my "first light" with the QHY5L-II

Monday, June 3, 2013

IC 1318 Gamma Cygni Nebula Part#2 ***updated***

Completed 4 panels of the mosaic so far. Managed to add blue and green to my existing Ha data. My journey to this point can be seen here:

4 panel mosaic, each panel consists of

3x20 minute Hydrogen-Alpha(used as Red & Luminance)
3x10 minute Blue & Green/each

total integration time(so far) 8 hours

Hopefully if all goes well, I would like to add OIII and more panels to this mosaic. It's a tad bit red for my liking.

The bright star to the left is Sadr (Gamma Cygni). Seen in the upper right is NGC6888, the Crescent Nebula

Update 6/5/2013

Added 2 more panels, Ha,Blue & Green

6 panel mosaic, each panel consists of

3x20 minute Hydrogen-Alpha(used as Red & Luminance)- 6 hours
3x10 minute Blue & Green/each-4hours
3x10 minute Blue & Green(bin 2x2)*-2 hour

*decided to bin Blue & Green 2x2 on new frames

total integration time(so far) 12 hours

I thought several of the panes would be interesting in Hubble Space Telescope Palette (HST) so I imaged the last frame with the narrowband filters (Ha,OIII,SII)

Ha 3x20 minute as GREEN
OIII 4x20 minute as BLUE
SII 4x20 minute as RED

3h 40m

This pane is in the upper right of the "updated" 6 pane mosaic (2nd image)

I have a laptop I use to remote control my telescope setup on my deck. The bird feeder is about 15' from the setup. While doing astrophotography, the slightest vibration on the deck will ruin the guiding of the telescope. The other night my guiding was really bad. I had help from a friend.