Tag Archives: astronomy

Gearing up for a new season of astrophotography

I’m gearing up for a new season, we have some pretty poor autumnal weather here at the moment, and very few clear skies forecast for quite a few days.

However, I have placed an order for the following new equipment:

  • A SkyWatcher Esprit 120ED Pro Triplet Apochromatic Refractor. This is to replace my achromatic SkyWatcher Startravel 120T. Unfortunately there is a long leadtime on these to arrive from China, so it might not be until November that we see first-light with it.
  • A Field Flattener purpose made for the above, to ensure better astrophotography results.
  • An Astro Essentials Filter Cell Adapter, which should allow me to fit a light pollution suppression filter between the field flattener and the focuser on the Esprit.
  • An IDAS P2 Light Pollution Suppression Filter to be used in the above (2″).
  • A Primaluce Lab Sesto Senso V2, this is a a stepper motor to replace the HitecAstro DC motor, it should be more accurate with less slippage, although going with an Apo should mean I have to spend less time refocusing during filter changes.
  • A Temperature sensor for the Above.
  • A 17ah Powertank – I will be trying to power all my kit from a battery this year, in preparation to see if travelling to a dark-skies site could be possible.

I suspect that this means that I will soon put the StarTravel 120T, with its focus motor and HitecAstro DC unit on the second hand market, it will come with a fabric carrying case as well, and I may be able to throw in a few extra accessories.

Of course, it all depends on when the above will arrive, which is forecast to be around 10-12 weeks at the moment.

I’ve also gone to place an order for the following now:

  • ZWO ASI 290MM mini USB2 mono camera for guiding
  • ZWO 1.25″ Helical Focuser for the above

On briefly attempting to guide with my ASI120MC-S at the weekend, I was reminded how noisy a camera it can be, and unfortunately, while I bought it for guiding I kind of let myself be lent to a possibility of doing planetary imaging, which it is probably more suited to. The ASI290MM should be a better dedicated guiding camera, and I hope the helical focuser will allow focusing off the off-axis-guider easier.

Clear Skies All!

IC1848 continued, Hydrogen-alpha mosaic

Still a work in progress, will probably work on some other channels to add.

I’ve not uploaded the video of processing the mosaic as it was necessary to use a downgraded version of the software due to bug in the current version, I had that version on my laptop, so I used that to stack the mosaic, but don’t have Video recording software I know how to use on the laptop.

Will re-do when there are more sub-exposures available, and the bug in the software is fixed.