The Lion Nebula – Sharpless 2-132

The Lion Nebula – Sharpless 2-132

July 20, 2024
The Lion Nebula is another nebula in the northern sky’s constellation Cepheus. It's a large area with emission nebula along with several star clusters and dark dust areas. I captured this data between July 10th and July 15th, 2014 and combined a total of 24.5 hours of imaging for this photo. Here's …
Filling up the Lightbucket

Filling up the Lightbucket

July 16, 2024
A little over 2 weeks ago, I signed up for Lightbucket. Lightbucket is a website that helps you track your astrophotography and see what others are imaging. My first Lightbucket-logged image was the Iris Nebula on July 1st. I'm now finishing my imaging session the night of July 15th/16th. I'm should…
NGC104 and NGC121 Globular Clusters

NGC104 and NGC121 Globular Clusters

July 10, 2024
I had the oportunity to take some test images with a telescope in a dark sky site in Chile. Here are NGC104 and NGC121 taken with an Explore Scientific ED102 refractor on an iOptron GEM28 mount with an ASI183MC camera. This is 61 frames at 120 seconds each. Here's the full sized image.…
The Iris Nebula – Caldwell 4, NGC 7023

The Iris Nebula – Caldwell 4, NGC 7023

July 5, 2024
The Iris Nebula is a reflection nebula in the northern sky's constellation Cepheus. It's roughly 6 light years across and 1400 light years from Earth. The bright nebula core is surrounded by a huge area of dark dust that I previously haven't had much luck capturing because of how faint it is. To bri…
My Favorite NINA Plugins

My Favorite NINA Plugins

June 30, 2024
It's finally time for a "my favorite NINA plugins" post. There are an ever-growing collection of plugins that extend NINA's functionality. I haven't tried them all, but I'd love to share what I've found helpful. The screenshot below shows the ones I currently have installed. I just did my first imag…
Lightbucket

Lightbucket

June 30, 2024
Well, I have a Lightbucket account now. I set up the NINA plugin and it should automatically send some details of my backyard imaging sessions. I know I image a ton more than I did before I had my scope permanently mounted on a pier. It'll be interesting to see the targets and imaging time add up.…
Telescope Cable Management

Telescope Cable Management

June 4, 2024
With most of my initial testing finished on my Losmandy G11 mount, I finally took the time to tidy up the cables a bit. The G11 doesn't have any internal cable routing, so everything has to go on the outside. I made new serial cables for my Robofocus and G11 Gemini 1 computer connections. That alone…
Losmandy G11 Periodic Error Testing and PEC Programming

Losmandy G11 Periodic Error Testing and PEC Programming

June 3, 2024
One of the things I was hoping for with my G11 mount was better periodic error than my old Celestron CGEM. The periodic error on my CGEM was pretty huge. Even after moving to OnStep with belt-drive motors replacing the gearboxes, it still had a periodic error around +/-40 arc seconds. Thankfully, th…
M17 – The Omega Nebula

M17 – The Omega Nebula

May 3, 2024
Or the Swan Nebula...or Checkmark Nebula...or Lobster Nebula...or Horseshoe Nebula. Whatever your favorite name for it, Messier 17 is a great summer target. I shot the data for this last summer and recently processed it. This was before my CGEM OnStep and pier upgrades, so each night I had to drag m…