I've decided to "up my game" and go after a more difficult target. After some research, I decided on Sh2-129 / OU4: The Flying Bat Nebula / Squid Nebula. I know it's a very dim target and it's going to require a lot of patience, a LOT of integration time and it will definitely stretch my capabilities in Pixinsight.
I'm excited to get started!!!
Last night, I got everything ready for imaging. I got my sequence created in NINA after importing the coordinates from Stellarium. I had everything set to autofocus when necessary and to re-center after drift. I had good views of the sky and a good plan to capture images from 10:30pm until 4:30am.
The sequence was running beautifully. My guiding was absolutely wonderful. Most of the evening I had been guiding at ~0.5" RMS with almost perfectly matched RA and DEC error. The stars were round and tight. My HFR statistics from NINA were looking really good. When I closed my laptop for the evening my reported RMS was down to 0.35". This was just about the best guiding I've ever had.
I woke up this morning. The meridian flip happened flawlessly over night (~2:00am) and my storage drive was full of data. I had 30 images each of narrowband data from my target.
I ran them all through a quick Blink session, and every darn one of them looked great!
I KNOW I didn't have enough exposure to make out detail, but I decided to do a quick integration of the Ha data to see what I had. The pre-processing went flawlessly, the calibration frames worked amazing. I stacked the image, ran a quick DBE and thought, "Wow, this is probably the best raw data I've ever collected!"
Then I looked a little closer...........
I used my EdgeHD 9.25 to capture the images operating at its native f/10; 2,350mm of focal length. The data capture is FANTASTIC!! It's amazing...... It's also WAY TOO SMALL OF A FOV!!!
There is no way I can create the image I want with this data. The image capture went AMAZING, and it was one of those nights I dream about. But it was all for naught.
I'll try again tonight with my 714mm triplet. But the forecast for the conditions is not as good as last night.
Oh well, this is how I learn.