Telescope: Meade SN6 Comet Tracker at f/3.6, Orion Atlas EQ-G
Camera: Full Spectrum Modified Nikon D5300, Baader Mk III MPCC
Filter: Orion Imaging Skyglow Filter
Guide scope: Astro-Tech 60mm, Meade DSI Pro II, PHD
Exposure: 17x120sec, ISO 200, saved as RAW
Darks: Internal (Long Exposure Noise Reduction On)
Flats: 32x1/15sec, Tee shirt flats taken at dusk
Average Light Pollution: Red zone, Bortle 8, fair transparency, variable haze
Lensed Sky Quality Meter: 18.6 mag/arc-sec^2
Stacking: Mean with a 2-sigma clip.
White Balance: Nebulosity Automatic
Software: Backyard Nikon, Deep Sky Stacker, Nebulosity, Photoshop
This was the 1st of 6 test images taken to evaluate the use of a Baader Mk III MPCC with this fast f/3.6 Schmidt. The wide field offered by this telescope does a good job showing deep sky objects in context with the surrounding sky. I was a little concerned how the MPCC would work with globular clusters as prior work with this coma corrector showed that it tends to soften the center of the field a tad. However, the Comet Tracker is not a high resolution scope anyway so I was hoping that this effect wouldn’t be too bad, and it wasn’t! I was very happy with this result.
M3 is a beautiful example of a globular cluster in a relatively lonely stretch of sky. The cluster is a member of the galactic halo and spends much of its time orbiting well outside the plane of the galaxy. It is presently 33,000 light years away from us, 40,000 light years from the galactic core, and 33,000 light years ‘above’ the galactic plane. Home to about 500,000 stars, M3 is relatively young as globular clusters go with an estimated age of 8 billion years.