M42 with short 2 second exposures

It is amazing what modern cameras are capable of! Intreagued by learning how to improve the quality of deep sky astro photography, I stumbled upon Dr. Robin Glovers talk and essay on picking the correct exposure settings. Dr. Robin Glover is the creator of SharpCap, which is one of the best recording tools for planetary imaging.
A head full with new wisdom, I tested for myself, how true the statements according image aquisition were. Therefore I selected the core of M42 – around the trapezium – to set all parameters to. Using my 10″ f/5 newtonian telescope, I could set only a mind buggling 2 second exposure length, before saturating the 4 stars. I expected to gain a little bit of nebulosity, as the area around the trapezium is really bright. But what I could gain in post processing the 300 individual exposures is simply fantastic! Compare the 2 images attached – the nearly black one is one of the individual frames used to create the colorful result!

Image data:
Date: 2021-03-25
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 10″ f/5 Newtonian with GPU corrector (1250mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183M @ -20C
Filters: Optolong RGB
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures:
100x2s R, 100x2s G, 100x2s B

M42 (Orion nebula) in narrow band – Hubble palette

Finally, the clouds did break! After more than 2 months, this is the first chance to do some astro photography. It would have been a great opportunity to go up on one of my mountain observing spots. But with clear skies and a northern wind, temperatures dropped to -10C and below. So I stayed in the comfy warmth of home with urban light. Even though, narrow band images are still possible with quite long exposure times.

With the great Orion nebula, imaging is not too hard to accomplish, as the nebula is really bright. So a set of 110 exposures of 100s revealed the following image. Unfortunately, I could not completely remove the amp-noise from the camera as well as the uneven background. I have to improve my skills in post processing 😉

Image data:
Date: 2021-02-11
Location: Graz, Austria
Telescope: 102mm f/7 APO with 0.79x flattener (equals to 564mm focal length)
Camera: QHY183M @ -20C
Filters: Baader narrow band Ha, Oiii, Sii
Guiding: MGEN-II with off-axis guider
Exposures: 42x100s H-alpha, 42x100s O-iii, 26x100s S-ii