A new year and a new foray into Astrophotography….

February 18 2012
Its a new year and a new challenge awaits me in a couple of aspects of my life. This year is the year that I reach the third decade of my life and thus I have resolved to treat myself to a dedicated CCD camera in an effort to take my astrophotography to the next level. As part of this change I have also purchased a bench supply from Maplins so I can power my mount and other accessories from a mains supply and not worry about batteries running out of power halfway through a session.

However, before doing so tonight has been the first night my kit has been out for a very long time. Tonight was the night that I tried my hand at widefield imaging with my widefield tracking rig on my NEQ6.
Tonights object would be the area of Orion. I would be using my D7000 and 105mm macro lens. Exposure  were limited to 10min and controlled with my Hahnel Intervolometer. The whole setup would be guided with a home made finder-guider and Atik Titan.
Below is the result of 16 x 10min subs totalling 2hrs 40mins. Individual subs, darks and bias frames were stacked in DSS, initially the end stack was processed in DSS but the result was a grey mush of not a lot. Following that I decided to download a free trial of PixInsight and see how that fairs with the images. As you can see below its not too bad. Not perfect by a long shot as there is a nasty vignette that I need to resolve, nevertheless I am pleased.

There is a lot going on here:
M42 - Orion Neblula
NGC1977 - The Running Man Nebula
NGC2024 - Flame Nebula
IC434 - The Horses Head Nebula
And maybe a hint of Barnards Loop. 

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