Thursday, October 02, 2008

More DSO Attempts & Spending Money

Last night I took the LX200 and attempted shots of M20 (Triffid Nebula) and M27 (Dumbbell Nebula). Initial processing indicates that while I did capture some nebulosity, I was not able to gather enough photons to bring out bright nebulosity. They were an improvement over my last attempts, though. A pretty ordinary shot of M20 is below (27 mins exposure combining different shots using different ISO speeds!):

I am still limited to shorter exposures, even though I have a nice wedge. This is because I'm not being too successful at precise polar alignment, so polar drift creates star trails with shots over 30 seconds. Quite annoying! This weekend could be clear so I hope to get out again and try for an alignment that can give me at least one minute's tracking capability.

Otherwise, have purchased a couple of items...
a. Mounting dovetail and rings to mount my WO 66 on my LX200
b. Meade counterweights to offset the WO66 and DSLR

These should make the scope more than suitable for a variety of astrophotography methodologies, including guiding which will enable longer exposures.

Astrophotography is definitely difficult. So far I have spent many hours out in the dark experimenting with different methods, ISOs, shutter speeds etc. I know that trying to use a wedged alt-az scope isn't ideal, but other folks seem to pull it off with ease so I'll persist.


Jase said...

Two expensive hobbies - astronomy and digital slrs!!! :D

I can't talk - mine are digital slrs and motorcycles! ;)

Cheers mate, Jase

Phil said...

Yeah, boys and their toys, eh???

Hope things are good for you and family!