A couple of nights ago I finally had the opportunity to collect a reasonable amount of data on an object. Various technical issues (mostly the usual teething problems) have meant that this was the first night I had the mount, scope, guidescope, camera and software all pretty well working as desired. As those of you who have been through this learning experience will know only too well, that in itself can be a major challenge before one has the chance to actually collect any photons at all!
Focusing is of course the final obstacle and this time I managed to use MaximDL to measure FWHM values as an aid, it got me close but not quite spot on I don’t think – that area needs more work. I do have a Bahtinov mask but didn’t use it because I was also testing out my home made dew shield and didn’t want to disturb that – the dewshield is one of those silvered flexible windshield sunscreens held on the OTA with a bungee cord – maybe ugly but it sure worked!
Anyway I decided to concentrate on M42 for all sort of obvious reasons, unfortunately I had set up in such a position that it was hidden behind a fence later in the night which cut short my data collection but gave me enough frames to make a start.
I shot 300 second and 120 second subs at 400 ISO, no calibration frames at all at the present, I plan to shoot some darks tonight when it is the same temp outside.
So after much stacking and Photoshopping and the like here is my effort, Orion - I know we have all seen M42 a million times but personally speaking I can’t imagine ever getting bored of such a sight!
Thanks for reading