Orion in H-Alpha

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Jared Willson Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Orion in H-Alpha
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Well, I've been working on optimizing the new camera, NUC, and software. Still one major gap right now--I'm using a two inch nosepiece and a bunch of spacers on a full-frame (35mm) camera!  The vignetting is horrific, and with any filters other than the narrow band I get terrible rings and reflections off the inside of the nose piece (or the spacers or something). I've got an adapter on order that will directly connect the filter wheel to the telescope without any vignetting, but until then I'm still playing around with the H-Alpha filter trying to get everything else working well.

Here is the Orion Nebula from last night. Data quality is mediocre--the seeing was pretty poor so I was only getting 2.5" FWHM on my better frames. Everything seemed to work well, though, and the H-Alpha data calibrates pretty well despite the vignetting.

29 five minute exposures combined with 10 one minute exposures (to preserve the core of the nebula including the Trapezium)... Exposures were all unguided since I've got pretty good polar alignment and a decent pointing model built into the mount. Calibration was with darks, flats, and flat darks. The new camera shows some bias drift, so calibration included 'overscan' regions to correct for that.

Scope: 12" Riccardi-Honders Cassegrain reflector @ f/3.8

Mount: Astro-Physics 1100GTO with absolute encoders

Camera: QHY600 monochrome using Astrodon Gen2 filters

NINA was used to run all the equipment. Astro-Physics APCC Pro was used to run the mount with its pointing model. PixInsight was used for all image processing including calibration, MureDenoise, HDR combination (for the Trapezium), stretching, and contrast adjustments. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the result. Now I just need the adapter to arrive so I can connect the camera to the telescope without the vignetting!

Orion Nebula in H-Alpha Light

 Jared Willson's gear list:Jared Willson's gear list
Leica Q2 Leica SL2 Hasselblad X1D II 50C Leica SL 90-280mm F2.8–4 Hasselblad XCD 30mm F3.5 +8 more
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