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Friday, October 14, 2011

Dark dust of Cygnus in H-alpha light, a new project

Image from two previous nights has now 17x1200s H-alpha light collected.
I will shoot other two emission lines as soon as the weather permits.

This area is just below  the "North America and Pelican Nebulae". The bright area at upper middle Right, is  known as IC 5068. I selected this as a target, since there is a beautiful dark dust line blocking light at front of the ionization zone.
Area of interest can be seen in this image as a gray scale rectangle.

This has been a very frustrating Autumn... 
First my observatory PC died. After installing a new computer and all the software, my camera stopped to work. (I'm shooting now with an older model, fixed by soldering and duct tape) 
Two days ago, the filter wheel started to act like a lottery machine, now I have to rotate it manually.
Top of that, last night my trusted temperature compensating focuser, TCF-s, refused to work at all. 
After five hours of trying to fix it, I did focus manually as well as I could. (At f2.8, the critical focus zone is 17 microns... that's 17/1000mm) Lots of work is done and money spend, just for couple of images. Sometimes I feel, best solution is quit and sell my gears, who ever going to buy this expensive pile of junk. Maybe I feel better tomorrow, after some sleep...

Technical details:
Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations,
 added at 50% weight in final image.
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Optics, Tokina AT-X 300mm camera lens at f2.8
Camera, QHY9 
Guiding, Lodestar and Meade LX200 GPS 12"
Image Scale, 3,5 arcseconds/pixel
Exposures H-alpha 19x1200s, binned 1x1
Total exposure time so far 6h 20min.

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