30 Dec 2012

Waiting for weather now

My Argonavis controller came back few weeks ago after its month long trip to Australia.

There has been few clear hours since but with a lot of haze and ice crystals in the air. But I was able to test everything and took few test exposures.

Weather here has been even worse than last year! I didn't miss any clear night when the controller was away. I calculated that there has been about 8hrs of good weather in past 7 weeks...

11 Nov 2012

Maintenance break

So, after few emails to Australia and some testing the Argonavis controller have to be sent back to factory for repair. And this means several weeks delay for this season.

I have to say that I'm quite pissed but no can do! This happens with electronics every now and then.

9 Nov 2012

And a major set back, again...

This hobby really isn't the easiest one... Everything was working well and my new scope looked really well so something happened to my mount's Argonavis controller.

Few weeks ago I noticed that the LCD went really dim and almost unreadable during night. I changed the "RTC" battery because it seemed to had run flat, I got it working again and powered everything down for almost two weeks because of my business trip. Yesterday when I powered it up again  there was nothing in the LCD. So there was no chance to align the mount or to do anything else with it. GREAT!!!!!

I contacted the Wildcard Innovations and made some tests they suggested, and there seems to be problem with the RTC battery voltage input. Without the 3V voltage the operating system of the unit does not start at all....

So there could be a long delay coming for BBubble Observatory.

19 Oct 2012

Short test exposure

I took this image while setting the autoguider few days ago.

Here's one shot per channel LRGB (5:3:3:3min) through my new scope.

7 Oct 2012

New season new tricks

Yesterday was a partly clear night after a few weeks of clouds and rain so I made some adjustments of my new imaging scope. More of it later!!

But here's some CCDInspector information of it:

Collimation needs some work but the rest is starting to look quite ok.

I took also few unguided test images of Mizar: This is 5*30sec unbinned and uncalibrated image.

17 May 2012

Summer break

No darkness here until late August.

But some unprocessed images waiting for time to handle them...

12 Apr 2012

Bubble area wide with color

I got few frames of OIII two days ago and hopefully some more but the weather forecast doesn't look too good for that. And there's only less than a week to go before the astronomical darkness ends at my latitude.

Here's 5*1200 sec of OIII (binned2*2) added to 4hr30min of Ha. Again a bicolor picture with synthetic green channel.

And here's 100% crop of the NGC7635 Bubble Nebula.

11 Apr 2012

SH2-140, SH2-145 and SH2-150

This was my previous project which was imaged on two nights about a week ago. I have done only one narrow band image earlier (M97) so the processing took a while. I took the images under almost a full moon with narrow band filters (Ha, OIII and SII). But the SII data (about 3hrs) was so week that I decided to forget that one and decided to make a Bicolor image with Ha and OIII with a synthethic green.

These three Sharpless objects are located also in the constellation Cepheus. The hydrogen alpha is showed as red and the OIII as blue. Green channel is combined with these two.

Exposures: Ha = 8*1800sec and OIII 6*1200sec (bin2*2). Total 6hrs.

9 Apr 2012

Bubble area project

My previous test exposures showed so interesting area that I decided to start a new project with it. This is propably going to be the last one for this season...

Last night I took 4h 30min of Ha exposures with 1800 sec subs. Here's what it looks like:

I also made a starless version of it. This may have better view of the nebula itself.

6 Apr 2012

Bubble area wide

Few days ago while waiting the "main" target to pass meridian I took few images of the famous Bubble nebula area (NGC7635). The image is only 30min of Hydrogen Alpha (6*300sec) and binned 2*2, but the main thing is that I took them unguided. So again points to MesuMount2!!

The picture has not so much of details because of binning but instead quite a nice wide view of the area. About the center is SH2-157, little bit down and left is Bubble Nebula and M52 beside it and the left large nebula is designated SH2-161. There's also SH2-158, SH2-159 and NGC7510 in the image.

3 Apr 2012

MesuMount's performance

The mount is stunning! Some more adjustment and FINALLY realized to put the "simple auto-dark" on of the MaximDL. Here's the result:

The scale of the error graph on the upper right corner is ±0.5 pixels. And as you can see the 3 minute RMS error is 0.029 and 0.059 pixels... Unbelievable! Ok, the focal length of the APM is only 500mm, but still.

1 Apr 2012

LBN550, LBN552, LBN555 and LDN1228

Again some rarely imaged parts of the sky. Northern part of constellation Cepheus has this pretty nice looking bright nebula, LBN 552.

I had less than 6 hrs of total exposure so I'm not quite satisfied with this yet but no can do! Moon is groving again and the dark time is decreasing rapidly. There's not even a month to go with this season...

Here's LLRGB image with 5h 45min of exposure (L= 17*900sec, RGB=3*600sec bin2*2).

17 Mar 2012

LDN1235 and Vdb149+Vdb150

Finally some serious imaging!

Few clear nights so aimed my system to constellation Cepheus.

The dark part of the image is LDN1235. Blue reflection nebulaes are objects of the van den Bergh's catalog. The one in the left is Vdb149 and the other Vdb150.

i had some minor problems during this session. First night I had USB port failure after 4 hrs and the other night I modified the CCDCommander imaging script I forgot to check the timing. So everything worked well but because of my mistake the script ended about two hours before dawn. But no can do...

Here's 7hr 45min of LRGB exposures (L=19*900sec bin1*1, RGB=10*450 sec bin2*2).

6 Feb 2012

Adjusting the guider settings

The moon is starting to affect on imaging so I used about an hour to adjust the autoguider settings.

First I used 3 sec unbinned exposures and wondered how the tracking error was about 0.6 to 0.8 pixels. Then I realized that one noisy pixel on the edge of the guide star made the difference. After that I changed to 8 sec exposures and noticed that the error graph changed dramatically with lower noise (or with better SNR). After some fine adjustments of the guider aggressiveness I got the unbinned guider error below 0.5 pixels which is enough for my setup (STL pixel size vs. internal guide chip pixel size).

Finally I changed 2*2 binning to the guider and started to use 5-6 sec exposures and got tracking error to about 0.2 pixels.

This kind of graph I've never seen on my previous EQ-5/6 mounts... So no worries of the mounts performance for this small scope!!

30 Jan 2012

First proper testing of equipment

FINALLY!! After almost two months of clouds and rain there was a clear night!

It took about an hour to align the mount, calibrate the autoguider and make some V-curves for the FocusMax but then was time to start imaging. Everything started to work without a single problem and I was quite relieved. Mount was guiding smoothly (error below 0.3 pixels with internal guider's chip and unbinned).

I aimed the system towards NGC7023 in Cepheus. Took some Luminance and then RGB-channels. But, as usual, the fog came and stopped me after about 4 hours.

Here's LRGB image with about 4hrs of exposure (105:50:50:50 min). L unbinned and RGB binned 2*2.

Here's about the full frame.

Here's cropped version

I'll need to take much more Luminance to dig out those darker parts. So there's more to come...

My APM's original focuser was crying trying to carry all the weight of the STL. And it really can't handle it so I've already waiting for Feather Touch's focuser.