Finally had a chance to process the remaining images from the little clear spell we had last week.
It unfortunately conincided with work and other commitments so I’m really missing observing at the moment- but playing with the images has been some nice astro therapy in its absence.
Rosette HaRGB – this is the colour version of one I posted on 17th January- I managed to get 80 minutes of RGB on the 30th to add to the Ha pictures I’d taken earlier in the month. I really like this object- it’s a nice cluster in the dob and I can just about see some of the nebulosity (although obviously not the Ha). I think this image is a bit unbalanced- the red rightly dominates, but there shuold be some lighter colour as well around the centre. Probably because that’s the narrowband filter I’ve used, and it had 10 min exposures vs only 5 for the rest of the spectrum. I’d like to have another go at this and see if I can bring out some of the other colours. I also hadn’t understood how big this is-it’s three times the size of the Orion nebula and I love the way you can see how the newly formed stars have blown bubbles in the gaseous structure. There’s a range of distances from different sources- but they seem to average about 5000 light years- so this light started travelling when they were building Stonehenge.
Alnitak/Flame/Horsehead – I’m often drawn to this one- I find the Horsehead such a charismatic object. I’ve looked for it lots of times when the skies seem to be transparent but never succeeded in spotting it visually. The black and white image is another Ha effort- this time from 2nd February. The RGB bit was from a couple of nights before, and was one that I set running after an evening in the pub. It’s a much tighter crop than I would have liked because my framing was, shall we say, “not optimal”. I think I prefer the monochrome version of this.
This picture below was after the the Ha mage. I left it imaging overnight whilst we had guests and went back to it in the morning with the mount still faithfully tracking the constellation somewhere over America, but with the guiding not working so well! If you ever doubted the heat that cameras can put out- look at how everything but the guide camera is iced up.