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Friday, February 19, 2010

M104 up close and personal...

Jeepers, the Sombrero Galaxy doesn't look so bad for bumbling around with this big tube, fair atmospheric transparency, and then rolling clouds coming in to keep me to just 150 frames rather than the 250 frames planned. Unguided, 156 x 15 sec JPEG frames at 1600 ISO, noise reduction enabled, modified Canon Rebel XSi. Just stacked and stretched. Will try a little bias preprocessing to see if it helps a bit on the noise, I pushed this one pretty hard.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bigger is better...

Well, especially when it comes to telescope aperture. Decided to take
my 10" Dobsonian (Newtonian) optical tube and put it up on the Atlas
equatorial mount. A couple tube rings and Voila! Turns out I need a
little more weight to stay balanced, but once that problem is solved
we'll see if this monstrosity is up to the tracking challenge.

I'm excited to see what the impact to my unguided astrophotographs will be! All my shots to date have been with nothing larger than 6" aperture. Just need those counterweights...