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Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Back in the driveway.... Tonight I setup both the visual gear and the imaging gear to try and catch the stars before the next few days of cloudy nastiness. Wasn't really worth it though.

I could hardly use the visual gear because the moon was too bright and the seeing wasn't very good and worsening as the evening went on.

The moon was pretty spectacular as usual, but it was boiling and only decently defined at low power.

The imaging gear was a concern to me because of a bonehead mistake I made. At the star party this past weekend when I broke down at 5am or so and stuck my scopes with the cameras in their focusers in the car - facing the east window - with no caps because of the dew. When I woke up a few hours later I realized the sun would have passed right where the scopes were facing. Tonight was my first chance to see if I blew out my camera chips. Thank goodness everything was fine.

In my testing I ended up shooting M92 for an hour. Poor seeing, a fuzzy halo around the moon and brighter stars make for a pretty limited image quality, but I'm still very pleased with the shot. The relatively bright small fuzzies in the shot are 16th+ magnitude PGC galaxies. In the bottom right next to the tight star pair against the edge of the image is 17.8 mag PGC 2225108.

In the corner shot you can see at least a dozen distant 15th-17th mag galaxies, the brightest of which even have detail! Not bad for shooting from my back yard.

M92 Image
Scope: Vixen R200SS 200mm @ f/4 w/Vixen R200SS Coma Corrector
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 20D (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1 hour - (12 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image



Image Gallery For This Session
1 M92 1h 2 M92 Corner
   

1-M92-1h.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
|
  



Comments:
On 05/02/09 at 02:07am Neil Heacock wrote:
LOL

On 05/02/09 at 02:04am Barry wrote:
Yeh, you faint fuzzy snob, you. Boy, that's the understatement of the year.......bunches-o-stuff is right. This stuff can bring a grown man to tears....or bouts of imaginative profanity.

It's still fun, and like you said elsewhere, you get something to hang on the wall. And with my pictures that's a big deal. When they are printed, and you stand back a ways (30 or 40 feet), you can't see all the imperfections. :)





On 05/02/09 at 01:04am Neil Heacock wrote:
Heh.. thanks. Yeah, I guess I'm becoming a bit of a snob. Actually, my favorite part is the small amount of detail in the face on spiral NGC 6329 (14.5 mag) at the bottom and the arms on the barred galaxy NGC 6336 (14.5 mag) right of center in the corner crop.

On a better night when I would be more serious, I would have spent more time with polar alignment (this one was pretty rough alignment), temperature accuracy (I guessed the temp), histogram readings for when the saturation point was reached (the core got burned out because of this), etc. There are bunches o' stuff to pay attention to to make the shot all it can possibly be. I didn't do any of them on this one! So, for a rough cut, I'd absolutely agree "it ain't that bad".

-Neil

On 05/02/09 at 12:41am Barry wrote:
Hey, I don't see too much wrong with this......it's not quite as sharp as some of your globular work, but "it aint that bad". I would be doing back flips if it were mine. LOL



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