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This was the first chance to try out my new telescope, a Skywatcher Equinox 80. It’s a 500mm retractor, so gives a really wide field of view. Just as I needed a MPCC with the Newt to cope with Coma, I also bought a field-flattener for this scope, the Televue TRF-2008. This gives a nice flat field across the whole area of the 1000D chip.

This picture was also my first go at narrowband imaging. Hα imaging is a way of capturing the strongest wavelength of light emitted by nebulous regions, regardless of light pollution conditions or moon brightness. The resulting data can be combined into colour images or combined with other narrowband images to create false colour images.

Camera: Canon 1000D (Ha Modified) with Astronomik 12nm Hα Filter
Scope: Skywatcher Equinox 80 with Televue TRF-2008
Mount: HEQ5 Pro with ASCOM control
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Software: Canon Capture, PHD, Stellarium
Exposures: 20 x 10 minutes = 3 hours 20 mins total


The Rosette Nebula is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open cluster NGC 2244 is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula’s matter.

The cluster and nebula lie at a distance of some 5,200 light years from Earth (although estimates of the distance vary considerably) and measure roughly 130 light years in diameter. The radiation from the young stars excite the atoms in the nebula, causing them to emit radiation themselves producing the emission nebula we see. The mass of the nebula is estimated to be around 10,000 solar masses.



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