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Sunday, September 27, 2020

First light for the Autumn season 2020


First light for the season is always a big thing for me personally. I have had really bad troubles to have a imaging telescope. Lots of promises but nothing  happens so i'm out of real tools. I do have a kind of working imaging platform built around an old Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens, here is some info about this toolset,

I have an imaging plan but for the first light I selected something more "easy" to test my system after a six months pause due to nightless nights up here near to polar circle. A supernova remnant Veil Nebula in constellation cygnus is a beautiful and large target with some really dim parts and background nebulae.
I have shot the Veil nebula many times during the years with a different optical configurations and it's always shows something new and different, what a fascinating target!

Veil Nebula
Please, click for a large image, it's worth it

Image is in natural colors combined from the narrowband channels. H-alpha = Red, O-III = Green and O-III + 20% H-alpha = Blue.

A closeup
click for a large image

A full resolution closeup, the camera lens draws beautifully when well collimated and focused.
lots of stars there, star colors are combined from narrowband channels H-alpha and O-III.

An experimental starless image
click for a large image

The starless version of Veil Nebula makes easier to see very faint details in nebulae otherwise buried under the dense starfield of the Milky Way. 

Veil nebula in a light from an ionized hydrogen, H-alpha
click for a large image


Veil Nebula locates in a constellation Cygnus at distance of about 2400 ly. It's a cloud of ionized gas and dust, leftovers from an exploded star. The star went off some 5000-8000 years ago at distance of about 1470 light years. This, relatively faint target, is difficult to image due to the large angular diameter, about three degrees, and a dense star field. I have shot this target so many times over the years and i never get tired to it, ther is always something new to find in it, Here is a collection my photos from this fascinating target,
Just click "Next  Post" at end of the page to see more!

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

Imaging optics
Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens

10-micron 1000

Cameras, filters and guiding
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x 2 and an old spotting scope of Meade LX200
Astrodon filters,
5nm H-alpha 3nm S-II and 3nm O-III

Total exposure time
H-alpha, 12 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 4 h
O-III, 6 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 2 h
S-II, 3 x 1200s, binned 1x1 = 1h

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