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M101 Pinwheel Galaxy with 12" SCT

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#1 idclimber

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 09:57 PM

For the last year and a half I have been working to acquire the equipment and skill to image with my 12" LX200 classic OTA. I have it currently mounted on a Paramount MX+. Although this image is far from perfect it is the first one from this large scope that I considered good enough to post online. I hope you all enjoy it. 

 

Like many here I was warned by the chorus about learning on this scope. No question they all correct. I subsequently put the scope aside and acquired a 100mm refractor. I have mostly imaged with that over the last year, with occasional experiments with the larger scope. The smaller scope was very much my key to success with the SCT. 

 

In hindsight I would not purchase this SCT. The image scale with modern CMOS sensor make me leaning toward a 6" refractor as my next scope. Between the external Feathertouch focuser, the Starizona Large Format Reducer and the Celeston OAG and the Optec focus motor there is a serous financial investment in this scope. 

 

The image is a 25 hour integration of LRGB. I am also collecting some Ha and plan to incorporate that soon. The data was processed in PI. My current acquisition software is a Python script written for TheSkyX by Ken Sturrock. The camera is a ASI2600mm Pro with Chroma filters. 

 

Here is the link to a high resolution image over at Astrobin:

 

get.jpg?insecure

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#2 astrohound24

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:00 PM

Wow!!!!! That is beautiful.
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#3 rj144

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:01 PM

Looks great!


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#4 Jim Waters

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:07 PM

Very nice image, details and processing.


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#5 Kevin Ross

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:25 PM

Beauty!


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#6 KTAZ

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 11:40 PM

Top notch, Dave. I agree that the bigger SCT’s are even more challenging. I’m dropping down from the 9.25” to an 8” to do a comparison on image quality. More imaging time, yes, but I’m in AZ so I get plenty of clear skies to do that.


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#7 DirtyRod

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 11:48 PM

Great image so clearly you learned something along the way.


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#8 chanrobi

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Posted 19 June 2021 - 12:10 AM

Where is the blue CA like coming from the stars? Is this from processing, or the scope?



#9 idclimber

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Posted 19 June 2021 - 12:35 AM

Thanks everyone for the positive comments. The biggest obstacle post processing was varied data due to limitations in seeing, etc. The image scale with this scope even when binning 2x2 is still 0.746". 2300mm of focal length is pretty hard too tame even with a really good mount. This oversampling definitely shows up in varied data. Either I eliminated a super high percentage of subs or I did the best to cull out the worst and use a weighted stack. I chose the latter. 

 

The red channel was the worst. I did quite a bit of work reducing the bloat, but it can still be seen in some of the fainter stars. I believe the offset I was using was incorrect. 

 

This is definitely a learning experience and I have a few tweaks to implement on the next target. I believe the gear I have is capable of more. The first item is moving to a NUC with Voyager as my automation software. Then I will be moving to filter based focusing instead of using offsets. I plan on working on this next week when the moon is out again. 


Edited by idclimber, 19 June 2021 - 01:50 AM.



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