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I’ve always been tempted by the whole remote imaging thing, so I took the plunge and got a starter trial for iTelescope (www.itelescope.net)

This is 5 x 5 mins (25 mins) on the Carina Nebula I took at around 2am Australian time, which was bizarre to be able to do it during the day in the UK. A very quick process as well, but the data is so good it really doesn’t need much. I will get a bigger review up when I have more time, but this gives you an idea of what is possible.

Camera: SBIG STL-11000M with Baader 7nm Hα (-15°C)
Scope: Takahashi FSQ-106 F5
Mount: Paramount PME
Guiding: SBIG Internal
Capture Software: ACP, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 5 x 5 mins
Calibration: Not sure yet! (Automated)

Carina_Nebula_Ha

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The Veil nebula is a huge supernova remnant in Cygnus. It’s so big it would take a mosaic to fully cover it, it is around the same area in the sky as around 36 full Moons. There is a fantastic picture of the full structure on Wikipedia here

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Astrodon 5nm Ha (-30°C)
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.7x Reducer @ F4.4
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: OAG with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 12 x 15 mins
Calibration: 25 x Darks, 25 x flats, 50 x Bias

veil_nebula_ha


It’s one of the most recognisable objects in the night sky and one of the hardest to process due to the massive differences in brightness between the inner core and outer dusty regions. I managed to pull it out using local histogram equalization in PixInsight, although I was unable to avoid it causing dark halos on the brighter stars, even when using a star mask. Not bad for 6 subs though, will need to try and add to it.

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Astrodon 5nm Ha (-30°C)
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.7x Reducer @ F4.4
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: OAG with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 6 x 15 mins, 12 x 60 secs, 12 x 30 secs, 12 x 10 secs (HDR)
Calibration: 25 x Darks, 25 x flats, 50 x Bias

M42_hdr_ha_


This object sits just north of the Rosette Nebula, although it is half the distance away at 2,700 light years. The “Cone” shape comes from a dark absorption nebula in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest star of the Christmas Tree Cluster above. This came out quite noisy even with a lot of subs, either the conditions have been poor or this is a pretty hard area to image in.

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Astrodon 5nm Ha (-30°C)
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.7x Reducer @ F4.4
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: OAG with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 12 x 15 mins
Calibration: 25 x Darks, 25 x flats, 50 x Bias

NGC_2264_Cone_Nebula


There have been a few good clear nights recently, with temperatures really starting to drop in the UK. It’s getting to the time of year when Orion is just starting to creep into my view before midnight, so it’s a great chance to start a widefield mosaic starting with the Horsehead. I’m having a problem with worm adjustment on the EQ6, so the stars on here are a little bit out in RA.

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Astrodon 5nm Ha (-30°C)
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.7x Reducer @ F4.4
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: OAG with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 8 x 15 mins (B33), 7 x 15 mins (IC1805)
Calibration: 25 x Darks, no flats


I’ve been plugging away at the new Observatory and setup for 5 months now, and it’s finally coming together.

Changes to the imaging gear since last season:

  • Borg reducer now 0.7x from 0.85x. Now at F4.4
  • Moved from guidescope to OAG (Telescope Service, QHY5)
  • Baader RGB/NB sold, moved to one 5nm 36mm unmounted Astrodon Ha
  • EQ6 RA worm & ring gear upgraded to one from Aeroquest Machining (http://www.aeroquest-machining.com)
  • EQ6 RA belt drive mod

I still have a few issues to sort out, the OAG is too far in and causing a shadow on my images, top right on this picture. Also I lost about 15% of the outside of this after stacking due to a plate solve problem. I have a little chip on the corner of the OAG which (I think) is causing this weird effect on the guide stars, although they still guide not bad and they focus fine using a mask


I’m quite chuffed with this image considering the conditions last night. There was loads of high cloud (shown by the bumpy red line between the two spikes here) that was lit up by the full moon. I had a test image from a few nights ago that was much darker and had better contrast. I’ve no doubt the Astrodon helped here

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Astrodon 5nm Ha
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.7x Reducer @ F4.4
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: OAG with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 8 x 15 mins
Calibration: 50 x Bias, 25 x Darks, no flats

Click on the image for the super duper big version…


I submitted this Elephant Trunk picture in August 2010 and completely forgot about it. Thanks to Ron over at SGL who keeps track, I noticed it on the Published Members thread. It got into the January 2011 issue. My recent narrowband Rosette has been submitted, will have to keep a better look out this time!


I tend to be put off RGB most nights due to the really bad gradients I seem to get. No doubt something to do with a lot of LP in my vicinity. I’ve done a lot of work on getting my flat frames better, but this has only made a slight difference. Thankfully I’ve been able to pull something out of this in PixInsight with a modest number of subs.

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Baader 1.25″ RGB CCD Set
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.85x Reducer @ F5.3
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 4 x 10 mins per colour
Calibration: 25 x Bias, Flats, Darks


I’ve been tinkering with full narrowband on and off for ages, but never managed to get anything resembling an image. I don’t know if it’s just now that I’ve moved to a 100mm scope, but things seem to be falling into place now.

So here is my first ever full narrowband image, to say I’m chuffed with this would be an understatement. There’s still a lot of bits to figure out mind you, like purple haloing and the purple sky background. I might add another hour each to OIII and SII to see if I can get it a bit smoother. I had to download a trial of Photoshop CS5 to tweak the colour as I couldn’t find a way to do it in PixInsight, so it might be worth buying just for final tweaking. I’ve added the Hα only in as well.

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Baader 1.25″ Hα / OIII / SII
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.85x Reducer @ F5.3
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight, Photoshop CS5
Exposures: 9 x 10 mins (Hα), 6 x 10 mins (OIII), 9 x 10 mins (SII)
Calibration: 25 x Bias, Flats, Darks


This is the first proper outing for the new 101EDII. Just a test run of 7 x 15 min subs on this quite dense area of Cygnus. Auto focusing worked really well and pulled in a HFD of 2.15 which is the lowest I’ve seen, it usually gets somewhere between 3 and 4. I’ve also added a S2 filter to the wheel, so will try and get Hα/O3/S2 on this over the next few clear nights (it could take a while!!)

Camera: Atik 383L+ Mono with Baader 1.25″ 7nm Hα Filter
Scope: Borg 101EDII with 0.85x Reducer @ F5.3
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, Maxim DL
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, PixInsight
Exposures: 7 x 15 mins
Calibration: 20 x Darks