Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wide field of Orion

Last night, I tried my first wide field image using the Vixen Polarie:

For a first try, I'm quite happy. And if it weren't for the freaking moon it would have been even better...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Scope Setup

I followed the advice from John Smith at the AIC and tried to collect all cables on the scope and just run 2 cables out from the scope: USB and power. So far, I got it down to 3 (2 power and 1 USB). It certainly makes the whole setup MUCH easier and less error prone. And because I need a counterweight in the front of my scope anyway, it actually helps with the stability.

The only problem is that the Digi hub pulls a lot of power and depletes my Celestron Power tank quickly (doesn't seem to last one night of imaging anymore :-( Might need a larger battery when I want to go out ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NGC 884 / NGC 869

Alignment was a breeze - the 2nd calibration star was almost exactly in the middle. Polar alignment went well. And then I wanted to take photos of NGC 884 / NGC 869. But somehow I lost the alignment. It was absolutely impossible to take 4 min exposures - they all had star trails. In fact, PHD couldn't correct it enough.
Instead of redoing the alignment, I tried shorter exposures (2.5 min). The result is OK - but I should have rather redone the alignment:
I will try these two clusters again. Also, I didn't do a good job in getting the colors out. There are several stars in these clusters who are yellow/red.