M51 and IC434/NGC2023

Saturday night, the sky was a spectacular sight. I had the chance to go out to one of my favorite places for observing. The sky was so full of stars – it was really a treat! A bit of “discomfort” posed the low temperatures, which were around -10C all night long.

As I arrived later than I hoped for, I immediately set my scope up. Scope and camera setup were up and ready for imaging soon. But then – a series of technical problems began. The scope did not fulfill GoTo commands properly. After solving this, the auto-guider could not calibrate well. I thought, it should be well enough. But upon inspecting the data back home, I had to discard more than 60% of the data due to elongated or totally ruined images. And finally, at around 2am my primary battery gave up (being only discharged 25%) due to the low temperatures. So I called it a night and went home.

The results I could gather are not as i was looking for. This is primarily due to the very low amound of data. But still, I add them here for the records…

Image data:
Date: 2021-03-06
Location: Gaberl, Austria (RGB) + Graz, Austria (H-alpha)
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183C @ -20C (RGB) + QHY183M @ -30C
Filters: Baader UV-IR-Cut, Baader H-alpha
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures:
IC434: 24x300s H-alpha, 19x60s RGB
M51: 19x60s RGB

NGC 2237 – Rosette Nebula in narrow band

Last night, I captured several subs of the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237). Most of the subs were in H-alpha. So the O-iii and S-ii data is a bit short in signal. But hopefully, one of the next nights will be clear to add more subs 🙂
The colored image is Ha = red, Oiii = green, Sii = blue. The one in black and white is the pure H-alpha image

Image data:
Date: 2021-03-02
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183C @ -30C
Filters: Baader H-alpha, O-iii, S-ii and IDAS LPS-D2
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 20x300s H-alpha, 10x300s O-iii, 5x300s S-ii

NGC 2359 – Thor’s Helmet in narrow band during Full-Moon

Even though the moon was at its brightest, I had to capture some light during the current phase of perfect weather. So I aimed for a rather dim nebula – Thor’s Helmet. I could capture a total of 124x300s images, which I combined to this nice result…

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-27 – 2021-03-01
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183C @ -30C
Filters: Baader H-alpha, O-iii and IDAS LPS-D2
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 67x300s H-alpha, 33x300s O-iii

Sunspot 12804 plus prominences and filaments

After a brief break early February, the Sun is still showing activity. Here are the nice but small sun spot 12804 as well as 2 filaments and a detatched prominence.

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-26 13:30 – 14:00 UTC
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 4x Tele-Centric
Camera: QHY183C @ -10C
Filters: SolarSpectrum 0.5A @ 60.5C

High-Res Moon

Yesterday evening, during our astronomy club chat, I had my scope active to observe the moon. Fortunately, there have been quite stable air conditions. So I could record several craters, mostly located near the terminator for best shadows in the crater valleys 🙂

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-24 19:00 – 21:30 UTC
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 256mm f/5 Newton with 2.5x Barlow
Camera: QHY462C
Moon: Phase: 32d / 92%
Moon-Diameter: 31m41s
Imaging scale: 0.19″/pixel – 1 pixel = approx. 350m on the surface of Moon
Filters: UV-IR Cut, 850nm IR Pass

Sahara dust – or did we wake up on Mars?

Last night, during quite clear conditions, the majority of the stars vanished in a haze. The bright moon did the rest to let me cease imaging. The haze was not actually a haze, but rather the dust carried from the Sahara desert to central Europe.
In the morning, the rising Sun appeared rather soft and set in a diffuse sky. If there were no buildings, but red sandy flats, one could be tempted to be viewing new images from Mars 😉

NGC2264 – The Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster

Here is another result from last weekend of fine weather. This is the Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster in NGC 2264, a beautiful H-alpha region.
The image is a 2 1/2 hours pure H-alpha recording. Therefore presented in black and white.

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-12 – 2021-02-14
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183C @ -30C
Filters: Narrow band H-alpha filter
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 15x600s Ha

Virgo Galaxies around M86

This is the next image captured last weekend. I recorded 114 individual exposures of 120s, from which I could use 43 due to clouds crossing in the night.
I annotated the image with the galaxies visible. Among them are:
M86 (mag 8.8)
NGC 4438 (mag 10.0)
NGC 4388 (mag 10.9)
NGC 4440 (mag 11.8)
NGC 4402 (mag 11.9)
and the faintest ones visible are
IC 3386 (mag 16.0)
IC 3349 (mag 17.7)
IC 3363 (mag 17.7)
PGC 40723 (mag 17.7)

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-11
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183C @ -30C
Filters: Baader UV-IR Cut + IDAS LPS-D2
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 43x100s RGB

Leo Triplet with H-alpha and O-iii enhanced

During the last few days there were really promising clear nights. I recorded several data sets from my urban location (under these conditions, going up the mountains would have been a treat!). Now, as there are clouds again, I am processing the captured data. Here is the first result from the Leo Triplet (M65, M66 and NGC 3628).
I still have not yet received my color filters. So here I have a combination of luminance (UV-IR-Cut), H-alpha and O-iii data.

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-12 – 2021-02-14
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183M @ -30C
Filters: Baader UV-IR Cut + IDAS LPS-D2, narrow band Ha, Oiii
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 41x100s Luminance, 20x300s O-iii (2x binning), 30x300s H-alpha (2x binning)
Sky-Quality: 19.4-19.6 mpss