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11/30/-1
    
Saturday, July 17th, 2010
An Evening Of H-alpha Experiments

So tonight I wanted to try some H-alpha imaging through the new scope (Vixen ED103S). I was after what 20 minute exposures look like at this focal length and f ratio (730mm f/7). I was extremely happy with the results and the images are better then just experimentation.

I've been using the Peltier chamber for every shot these days and nights like these I'm very happy to have it. Shooting 20 minute subs at 60+ F ambient makes for loads of thermal noise so dropping ambient to 30F is gooooood!

I'm also including a screenshot to show the guiding I'm getting. It tends to stay at .3 RMS or so which, when guiding at 776mm (DSI in the ZS66 with a 2x Barlow) and imaging at 730mm seems to not really affect the image too much and is proving to be a good guider-to-imager setup. The stars are pretty round and tight for such long sub exposures (notice the duration of 1200 seconds) - and considering I'm polar aligning from scratch each night! Oh yeah baby!

My polar alignment technique is documented here:
http://www.myastronomyjournal.com/user_images/nheacock_images/Polar-Alignment-And-GoTo/

Veil Nebula - NGC 6992
Even though I just shot this at dark skies, I've never been able to get it really good from my house. So the Ha filter seems like a perfect way to really enhance the detailed structure of the nebula. And it works... woot!

Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 2 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope:  William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified) w/Astronomik 12nm Ha Clip In Filter
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 2 hours (6 x 1200s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with high dithering, Calibration, Stacking and DDP in Images Plus, Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: no flats, 40 bias, 10 darks
See gallery below for image

Elephant Trunk and Friends - VDB142, B161, B163, B365 inside of IC1396
This shot was to see about this faint nebula. It's significantly more faint then the Veil (which is a visual object) and I threw an extra hour at it (mostly because there was no Meridian flip so I kept shooting it). 3 hours proves to get some really good detail. Another successful experiment.

Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 2 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope:  William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified) w/Astronomik 12nm Ha Clip In Filter
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 3 hours (9 x 1200s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with high dithering, Calibration, Stacking and DDP in Images Plus, Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: no flats, 40 bias, 10 darks
See gallery below for image


Image Gallery For This Session
01 Veil Ha 2h 02 IC1396 Ha 3h
03 20mins at 776mm Guiding
   

01-Veil-Ha-2h.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
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