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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - July 2021

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#1 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 11:21 AM

Summary  Easy: M29, NGC4631/4627,  M20 and M8; Intermediate: NGC4567/4568, NGC5394/5395, M100 and NGC6888; Challenge: IC1340, NGC7380 and Sh2-132; Deep Southern: NGC6334 and NGC6357.

 

Easy: M29 (Cooling Tower)  (20h 25m  / +38d 36'); NGC4631/4627 (Whale  Galaxy and pup) (12h 43m  / +32d 25'); M20 (Trifid Nebula) (18h 04m  / -22d 58'), M8 (Lagoon Nebula) (18h 05m  / -24d 23')   - Note: approximate JNOW co-ordinates.

 

M29 (Cooling Tower)

This small open cluster about 4000 light years distant in Cygnus is visible in the East after it gets dark and is an easy target for almost any set-up. M29 has about 50 members, but the brightest 5 stars making up part of the  "Cooling Tower" are blue giants. The cluster is partially obscured by interstellar dust, and would otherwise be brighter. Here is a monochrome capture with my C8 @ f/3.7 (twin f/6.3 reducers)  and an ASI290MM mini, with ASILive at high gain: 

 

M29_f3.7_Light_Stack_5frames_10sec_Bin1_19.5C_gain300_2020-10-05_222931.jpg

 

 

NGC4631/NGG4627 (Whale Galaxy)

Visible in the west after dark as galaxy season is winding down, the Whale (or Herring) Galaxy, NGC4631 is a large and bright edge on spiral about 25 million light years away in Canes Venatici. It has a small companion galaxy (NGC4627) which, on very deep pictures shows a tidal connection. Dark dust clouds and bright star forming regions in the disk of the Whale are visible in this capture (same C8 set-up as above):

 

NGC4631/NGC4627; 12 x 25s

 

Arp281_f3.7_Light_Stack_12frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_17.6C_gain300_2021-05-06_225031.jpg

 

 

M8 (Lagoon Nebula)

The Lagoon Nebula is a large emission nebula about 5200 light years away in Sagittarius. It features an embedded open cluster (NGC6530) of massive stars, which are the source of ionization of the gas in the cloud, as well as dark globules of protestellar material throughout. There are several structures with the Lagoon that deeper views will show. Here is a recent 5 minute capture with a 72mm AT72EDII APO operating at f/4.3, using a 7nm H-alpha filter and ASI290MM at high gain. The H-alpha view shows many details in the nebula, including dark globules silhouetted against the nebulosity. This is a great target for a one shot colour camera due to its brightness.

 

 

M8; 12 x 25s

 

M8_Ha_f4.3_Light_Stack_12frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_23.8C_gain300_2021-06-25_234551.jpg

 

 

M20 (Trifid Nebula)

The Trifid Nebula is another emission nebula in Sagittarius, about 2 degrees from the larger and brighter Lagoon Nebula. It includes an open cluster at its centre and consists of a central emission nebula surrounded by a reflection nebula at a greater radial distance, and  dark nebula giving it its distinctive pie-like appearance. Colour images show both the reflection nebula strongly in blue, and the H-alpha emission regions in red. Here are a couple of different views of the Trifid, both taken with an ASI290MM mini at high gain. The first is a mono image with a C6 @ f/3.9, while the second is a H-alpha wider view with an AT72EDII @ f/4.3, which does not show the reflection nebula:


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#2 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 04:03 PM

M20; 18 x 10s; C6

 

M20_f3.9_Light_Stack_18frames_10sec_RS_Bin1_30.1C_gain300_2020-07-14_225136.jpg

 

 

M20; 12 x 25s; AT72EDII (H-alpha)

 

M20_Ha_f4.3_Light_Stack_12frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_23.8C_gain300_2021-06-25_233814.jpg

 

 

Intermediate: NGC4567/4568 (Butterfly Galaxies) (12h 38m  / +11d 08'), NGC5394/5395  (The Heron) (14h 00m  / +37d 21'), M100 (12h 24m  / +15d 42')and NGC6888 (Crescent Nebula) (20h 13m  / +38d 25')

 

NGC4567/4568 (Butterfly Galaxies)

This pretty pair of interacting galaxies - also referred to as the Siamese Twins, and the Fish and Chips Galaxies - is located at about 50-60 million light years distant in Virgo, and towards the west after dark. The galaxies are members of the Virgo cluster, but tidal forces don't appear to have resulted in as much distortion as with some other interacting galaxies. For some reason, the catalog number of one of these galaxies is very easy to remember.smile.gif

 

Here is a 6 minute capture with the same C8 set-up as noted above:

 

NGC4567/4568; 36 x 10s

 

NGC4567, NGC4568_Light_Stack_36frames_10sec_f3.7_RS_Bin1_23.6C_gain300_2020-06-12_001811.jpg

 

 

 


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#3 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 04:04 PM

NGC5394/5395 (The Heron)

Another pretty pair of  interacting spiral galaxies (also part of Arp84) has the visual appearance of a Heron, with  NGC5395 as the larger primary, and the secondary companion (NGC5394) to the north forming the Heron's beak; both galaxies are seen almost face on. There is also a tiny 3rd galaxy (the 'fish') just to the right (west) of the companion, and beyond the beak. The Heron is in Canes Venatici, and the pair are about 170 million light years distant.

 

Here is  a  5 minute capture using the same C8 set-up as above which shows all 3 components of Arp84, although the "fish" is barely visible:

 

NGC5394/5395; 12 x 25s

 

Arp84_f3.7_Light_Stack_12frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_20.6C_gain300_2021-05-05_231326.jpg

 

M100

Another bright galaxy in the Virgo cluster, this face on spiral is about 55 million light years distant in Coma Berenices, and towards the west after dark. In this 6 minute capture (same C8 set-up as previously) two companions are visible - NGC4328 to the east (left) and NGC4323 to the north (top). NGC4323 is seen to be connected to the primary in deeper images than this one - it might be fun to see if you can capture the tenuous connection between the two. It's "almost" visible if you click on the zoomed image.smile.gif

 

M100; 72 x 5s

 

M100_72x5s_f3.7_PR_High_Stacked_2020-04-16_22_45_59_251.jpg

 

 

NGC6888 (Crescent Nebula)

The Crescent Nebula, about 5,000 light years distant, in Cygnus is another emission nebula, whose outline is formed by strong stellar winds, emanating from a bright Wolf-Rayet star at its centre, colliding with material from earlier ejections by the central star. The shell formed from the collision shows up well in this 7 minute H-alpha capture (with the AT72EDII set-up used above). This target is hard to capture without use of some type of filter - I've found that even a Lumicon Deep Sky filter helps versus an unfiltered view.

 

NGC7888; 28 x 15s

 

NGC6888_Ha_f4.4_Light_Stack_28frames_15sec_RS_Bin1_11.2C_gain300_2020-11-18_201316.jpg


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#4 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 04:04 PM

Challenge: IC1340 (Bat Nebula) (20h 57m  / +31d 09'), NGC7380 (Wizard Nebula) (22h 48m  / +58d 15'), and Sh2-132  (Lion Nebula) (22h 20m  / +56d 12')

 

IC1340 (Bat Nebula)

IC1340 is located at the southern end of the Eastern Veil Nebula  - which is part of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant. IC1340 is adjacent to and south of the brighter NGC6995, and also somewhat fainter than the northern part (NGC6992) of the Eastern Veil, making it a challenging target without a filter. The filamentary structure of IC1340 is visible in this 7 minute H-alpha capture taken with my AT72EDII @ f/4.4, 7nm H-alpha filter and ASI290MM mini at high gain. IC1340 covers the bottom half of the frame, with NGC6995 forming the  upper half of the frame. 

 

IC1340; 28 x 15s

 

IC1340_Ha_f4.4F_Light_Stack_28frames_15sec_RS_Bin1_13.2C_gain300_2020-11-19_204700.jpg

 

 

 

NGC7380 (Wizard Nebula)

The Wizard Nebula is an emission nebula surrounding the open cluster NGC7380, located about 8,000 light years distant in Cepheus. Ionizing radiation from the O-type stars at the centre are the source for H-alpha emission from this HII region. Here is a 12.5 minute H-alpha capture with the AT72EDII set-up, showing the gas and dust structures in the Wizard. For some reason, the Wizard has always seemed to have a menacing appearance for me.

 

NGC7380; 30 x 25s

 

NGC7380_Ha_f4.3_Light_Stack_30frames_25sec_RSx_Bin1_23.5C_gain300_2021-06-26_000533.jpg

 

 

Sh2-132 (Lion Nebula)

Sharpless 132 is a  large and faint emission nebula about 10,000 light years distant in Cepheus, and covering about 90 arcminutes. A large FOV is needed to capture the likeness to a Lion, but here is a  10 minute H-alpha capture with the AT72EDII @ f/4.3 setup, covering approx 60' x 30'  and showing  the central region of the nebula. Of this month's Challenge objects, this is probably the faintest.

 

Sh2-132; 24 x 25s

 

Sh2-132_Ha_f4.3F_Light_Stack_24frames_25sec_RSx_Bin1_22.6C_gain300_2021-06-16_003531.jpg


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#5 alphatripleplus

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 04:04 PM

Deep Southern: NGC6334 (Cat's Paw Nebula) (17h 22m  / -36d 08'), NGC6357 (War & Peace Nebula) (17h 28m  / -34d 13')

 

NGC6334 (Cat's Paw Nebula)

This large emission nebula and region of star formation is about 5,000 light years away in Scorpius, well below the celestial equator. The dominant features of the nebula are the round bubble like regions, resembling cat's paws, that show prominently in this 7.5 minute H-alpha capture with the AT2EDII set-up used above. 

 

NGC6334; 18 x 25s

 

NGC6334_Ha_f4.3F_Light_Stack_18frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_22.0C_gain300_2021-06-17_000928.jpg

 

 

NGC6357 (War & Peace Nebula)

Also known as the Lobster Nebula (which it resembles in longer exposures), this large southern emission nebula is located about 8,000 light years in Scorpius, close to the Cat's Paw Nebula. The gas in the nebula is ionized by the hot bright stars in the open cluster Pismis 24, and the nebula also contains dust clouds common in other star forming regions. Here is a 7.5 minute H-alpha capure with the AT72EDII set-up used above that shows part of the Lobster structure, with the claws trailing off to the north (top) of the field.

 

NGC6357; 18 x 25s

 

NGC6357_Ha_f4.3F_Light_Stack_18frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_22.2C_gain300_2021-06-16_235404.jpg

 

 

 

Have fun with these, everyone!


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#6 Cey42

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 03:15 PM

Here is the SkySafari observing list.

Attached File  CN July2021.skylist   2.8KB   16 downloads

 

 

Note that IC1340 is not exactly in SkySafari but is generically listed as part of the Eastern Veil Nebula. Centering on it does not center on IC1340 specifically. I hope this makes sense.

 

 

Looking forward to viewing these.


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#7 Tiago Ferreira

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 03:18 PM

Cats Paw Nebula NGC 6334 in Scorpius 162x8s 12" f5 Dobsonian in Eq Platform ZWO ASI294MC

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#8 Clouzot

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 04:56 PM

This was captured on July, 1 just after 12am, so definitely in time for this month's challenge! While one instance of Sharpcap was shooting darks and bias frames for the sake of science (see the flat research thread), another was pointed at M8.

 

Here it is after 10x60s as seen from my Bortle 8-9 balcony, L-Enhance filter, Altair 294c... and no flats as can be seen. It's still a beautiful nebula, even with no flats

 

M8-10x60s-LEnhance.jpg


Edited by Clouzot, 01 July 2021 - 04:59 PM.

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#9 Shaney

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 05:50 AM

Great looking list for this month. I have been under cloudy skies for almost a month now, and potentially have a hurricane to deal with next week. The best part of hurricane's? They usually leave the skies clear for a day or two after they pass over.



#10 mikenoname

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 06:35 PM

Did the challenge live last night, though for some unknown reason my vocal audio is barely audible. Will have to check into that! Nonetheless, the images are fine. LOL

 

https://youtu.be/fiW32hrvB_c

 

Scope: TPO 6" f/4 Imaging Newtonian
Camera: ZWO ASI533MC
Mount: Celestron Evolution AltAz + Wedge on homemade pier
Planetarium Software: Stellarium
EAA Stacking Software: SharpCap Pro 4.0 beta
Broadcast Software: Open Broadcaster Studio
Sky: Bortle 2
Background Music: Jesse Gallagher (nightimegallagher.com)


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#11 PeterAB

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 09:34 PM

Hi,

 

I got a m29 picture last night.     First tried for NGC4631, but, it evaded me and dropped behind trees while I was chasing it.   Cygnus was up high in my sky and was easy to image.  M29 looks much the same in the eyepiece as on the screen.   However, there are many more stars several magnitudes dimmer than I can see through the eyepiece. 

 

This was with my 127mm Maksutov, SvBony sv305 pro with a 0.5 reducer.    39x8 second frames stacked in SharpCap.  Image stretched and saved as viewed.

 

M29 Stack 39frames 312s
 
Peter

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#12 Tfer

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 09:55 PM

Deep Southern: NGC6334 (Cat's Paw Nebula) (17h 22m  / -36d 08'), NGC6357 (War & Peace Nebula) (17h 28m  / -34d 13')

 

NGC6334 (Cat's Paw Nebula)

This large emission nebula and region of star formation is about 5,000 light years away in Scorpius, well below the celestial equator. The dominant features of the nebula are the round bubble like regions, resembling cat's paws, that show prominently in this 7.5 minute H-alpha capture with the AT2EDII set-up used above. 

 

NGC6334; 18 x 25s

 

attachicon.gifNGC6334_Ha_f4.3F_Light_Stack_18frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_22.0C_gain300_2021-06-17_000928.jpg

 

 

NGC6357 (War & Peace Nebula)

Also known as the Lobster Nebula (which it resembles in longer exposures), this large southern emission nebula is located about 8,000 light years in Scorpius, close to the Cat's Paw Nebula. The gas in the nebula is ionized by the hot bright stars in the open cluster Pismis 24, and the nebula also contains dust clouds common in other star forming regions. Here is a 7.5 minute H-alpha capure with the AT72EDII set-up used above that shows part of the Lobster structure, with the claws trailing off to the north (top) of the field.

 

NGC6357; 18 x 25s

 

attachicon.gifNGC6357_Ha_f4.3F_Light_Stack_18frames_25sec_RS_Bin1_22.2C_gain300_2021-06-16_235404.jpg

 

 

 

Have fun with these, everyone!

Cat’s Paw looks really nice, but it’s highest elevation is 28 arc minutes above my horizon!

 

That’s not gonna work!

 

Looking forward to participating this month.  Does my Trifid capture on June 30th count….?

 



#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 10:31 PM

Cat’s Paw looks really nice, but it’s highest elevation is 28 arc minutes above my horizon!

 

That’s not gonna work!

 

 

You can always try the Wizard nebula  -  should be far enough north for you.lol.gif


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#14 Tfer

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 10:34 PM

You can always try the Wizard nebula  -  should be far enough north for you.lol.gif

Supposed to be clear tonight, so I’ll see if I can grab that, and the Crescent. 



#15 Tfer

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Posted 03 July 2021 - 10:07 AM

Wizard and Crescent nebulas. 
 

Wizard has 230X8 second exposures.

 

Crescent is a stack of 151X8 second exposures.

Attached Thumbnails

  • D1C56F1F-E14E-4DFB-849F-F5FC48355340.jpeg
  • 592C7B3A-6259-40FA-85B1-0770F4278CD6.jpeg

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#16 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 July 2021 - 10:12 AM

Wizard and Crescent nebulas. 
 

Wizard has 230X8 second exposures.

 

Crescent is a stack of 151X8 second exposures.

Nice. Curious which camera and scope you used, and did you use a reducer?



#17 Tfer

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Posted 03 July 2021 - 10:23 AM

Nice. Curious which camera and scope you used, and did you use a reducer?

CPC1100 with a 0.63 reducer.

 

ASI294 (non-cooled) camera.



#18 Tfer

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Posted 03 July 2021 - 10:33 AM

Nice. Curious which camera and scope you used, and did you use a reducer?

This was the end of the Wizard.

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#19 PeterAB

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Posted 03 July 2021 - 04:06 PM

Hello,

 

I got a look at NGC4631/4627 last night.    Not at all easy from my home with my equipment.     

 

The cool thing is that these galaxies are not visible through the eyepiece with my small telescopes and city lights.     They show up with EAA.    The not visible thing makes them hard to get the camera centered on with the non-goto mounts that I use.     

 

I used my AWB OneSky because it the widest field telescope I own.   I got very close visually.     Plate solved to find the edge of NGC4631 was in the edge of the camera view.    Centered the galaxy and got this:

 

NGC4631/4627 Stack 50frames 1500s

 

SvBony 305 pro camera.   50x8 second frames.   Gain 15 (medium).   CG-4 tracking mount.   Dark frames subtracted.   Viewed with the color saturation set to zero (b/w) because the image looked better.   Saved as viewed from SharpCap pro.

 

This telescope is a truss design.    I have a shroud, but, there is a light leak around the focuser.    Creates a amusing effect almost like a wake behind the whale.     By the time I figured out the artifact was not from the camera and could be fixed with masking tape, NGC4631/4627 was setting.

 

This was a fun challenge and a learning experience for me.

 

Peter


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#20 hornjs

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Posted 04 July 2021 - 12:49 AM

I couldn’t figure out why my Heron is looking so much different than yours...then I realized the heron is NGC 5394/5395 not 5894/5895

#21 alphatripleplus

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Posted 04 July 2021 - 06:45 AM

I couldn’t figure out why my Heron is looking so much different than yours...then I realized the heron is NGC 5394/5395 not 5894/5895

Sorry about that.  I had the correct designation in the summary at the beginning of the topic, but garbled the catalog numbers in the description later on; it's fixed now. I didn't catch it, as I usually refer to the grouping as Arp84 in my filenames.


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#22 hornjs

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Posted 04 July 2021 - 01:27 PM

Haha, no worries Errol.  I'm having fun with this challenge this month, nice targets.  and 5894 is a nice little spiral galaxy in Draco.  Here are some that I found last night, before getting wrecked with clouds at 1:30am.  Could't get M8/M20 or the wizard due to cloud cover, will add those later.  

 

NGC 4567:  5x60sec, gain 121, f/7

NGC 4567/4568
 
NGC 4631 The Whale:  5x60sec, gain 121, f/7
NGC 4631, Whale galaxy
 
M100:  1x60sec (kept getting a stacking failure for some reason), gain 121, f/7
M100
 
M29:  20x10sec, gain 121, f/7
M29
 
NGC 5894:  5x60sec, gain 121, f/7
NGC 5894
 
NGC 5394:  5x60sec, gain 121, f/7
NGC 5394 / 5395, The Heron
 
IC 1340 The Bat:  6x120sec, gain 200, f/7, IDAS NBZ
IC 1340, The Bat Nebula
 
SH2-132 The Lion:  4x120sec, gain 200, f/7, IDAS NBZ
SH2-132, The lion nebula
 
NGC 6888 Crescent:  5x120sec, gain 200, f/7, IDAS NBZ
NGC 6888

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#23 drprs8181

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Posted 04 July 2021 - 07:35 PM

The transparency night before was somewhere between poor and "what am I doing out here tonight" but I got some new toys to play with this month and was too eager to try them out...I may have try these again on a better night.  Mount didn't like being slewed across the meridian as far as finding (still working on plate solving too).  Packed it in after just a few targets.

Tried out the Az-GTe in EQ mode with the SkyWatcher wedge and was able to get 30sec unguided shots.  Breaking in a ZWO ASI294MC and DGM NPB filter as well.

 

Equipment:

  • AT80ED
  • ZWO ASI294MC
  • AZ-GTe Mount with SkyWatcher Wedge in EQ Mode
  • DGM NPB filter where noted

Details:

  • Images live stacked in Sharpcap, darks applied, histogram adjusted then "Save as seen"
  • Bortle 6

 

M29 - 7/2/21 @ 2200 - 24x10s | Gain 200 - Transparency: Poor - AT80ED 

Shrunk ROI in SharpCap to frame better

M29 Cooling Tower - AT80ED

 

M20 - 7/3/21 @ 0010 - 19x30s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Poor - AT80ED w/DGM NPB

M20 Trifid Nebula - AT80ED

 

NGC 4631/4627/4656 - 7/3/21 @ 2235 - 34x20s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Poor - AT80ED

Cropped to frame better

NGC 4631 Whale and Pup -  AT80ED

 

M8 - 7/3/21 @ 0045 - 21x30s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Poor - AT80ED w/DGM NPB

M8 Lagoon Nebula - AT80ED

 

C27 - 7/3/21 @ 0055 - 22x30s | Gain 350 - Transparency: Poor - AT80ED w/DGM NPB

C27 Crescent Nebula - AT80ED

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#24 drprs8181

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Posted 06 July 2021 - 10:13 AM

Got a few more last night before some high, thin clouds rolled in and scrubbed the rest of the night.  Also reshot M29 with the better transparency, smaller halos this time.  Pics cropped for composition, but no other post processing.  Same setup as above.

 

 

IC1340 - 7/5/21 @ 2330 - 18x30s | Gain 300 - Tranparency: Fair - AT80ED w/DGM NPB

IC1340 Cropped AT80ED w/DGM NPB

M29 - 7/5/21 @ 2300 - 16x10s | Gain 250 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED

M29 Cropped AT80ED

M100 - 7/5/21 @ 2215 - 25x20s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED

M100 Cropped AT80ED

NGC4567 - 7/5/21 @ 2225 - 20x20s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED

NGC4567 Cropped AT80ED

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#25 Clouzot

Clouzot

    Viking 1

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Posted 06 July 2021 - 05:35 PM

Here's M20, with slightly different settings compared to the version I posted in the Gallery thread. A splendid object that could use more integration time.

Celestron C6 at f/6.3, Altair 294c ProTec, Optolong L-Pro filter, Evolution mount, guiding, no dithering, from my Bortle 8-9 balcony as always.

M20-22x30s-LPRO.jpg

Edited by Clouzot, 07 July 2021 - 07:29 AM.

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