With a streaming nose, feeling full of flu and having cancelled a Christmas night out it was a bit frustrating to look at the Friday night weather forecast, especially as I’ve just picked up a little metal ring adaptor to turn my finderscope into a guidescope. Temptation got the best of me- I set up as much as I could indoors then did the final alignment bits outside and attached the laptop for the guiding and setting the camera going before heading back indoors for the lemsip and night-nurse.
The intent was to try 5 minute exposures at ISO800 on a couple of targets and work out how to do guiding. First thing that I learned is that the Push Here Dummy software is really well named- I was up and running very quickly. Second thing is that rushing is never a good idea as the first hour of exposures was lost. I’d set the ISO to 12,800 to check the framing and forgotten to set it back. An hour later, instead of subs of Andromeda I had 12 pictures that were completely blown out. The second batch was more successful. I then moved the scope to the Flame Nebula for the third hour and M81/2 for the fourth. With bed calling I did some flats and bias and then put the whole kit in the garage to do the darks whilst I headed to bed.
Didn’t get to finish processing them until today. I think all of the targets could clearly have done with more subs and possibly longer exposures (especially M31), but altogether they’re a bit better than previous efforts- there’s even a hint of a Horsehead! Wish I’d felt well enough to sit out and do some observing (especially after reading Andy’s post!) but given how rough I felt on Saturday it’s probably as well I didn’t. Mucking about with the pictures on Gimp was a reasonable substitute!
The pictures are all 12 x 300s at ISO800.