The Starry Night, 212

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Times Square in the Milky Way

I went out to the community lot about 11:30 on July 3 to try to photograph the Pipe Nebula, a special request from George Kelley, Jr., and, well, I missed. More about that soon. After spending a little over an hour shooting the field just north of the Pipe, I reoriented the camera n/s and tried this photo of city center in the Milky Way.

It's 113 twenty-second exposures with the 105mm Sigma at F2.8 using a Canon R6 at ISO 3200, tracked on the LXD-55. It took only about ten minutes to go from parked to ready to image, so there's that. By comparing early and late frames in that sequence, I can see that my polar alignment was pretty sucky, but it just doesn't matter much for 20-second subs at such a short focal length.

There's an orange glow in the lower right corner (metropolitan Rutherford College?) and a pink glow below and left of M22 (amp glow, some electronic something?). Neither would be hard to remove. I leave them here as a matter of record in case I need to monitor electronic noise on this sensor.


2021/07/20. I'm enjoying this lightweight stuff (LXD-55, 105mm, R6 at night; minimal solar kit by day) quite a lot. And it occured to me that I had no way to actually look at the sky while my camera and computer have all the fun. I have a lot of telescopes (duh...) and a second lightweight kit would make it rewarding to use more than one at a time. So I found an Astro Tech Voyager in good shape on Astromart and then overpaid for it, especially with shipping. So I'll confess here and get over it. The slow-motion controls ought to make it ideal for my next foray into Moonrise photos and it will let me use (at least) the TMB92 for observing (at which it is really excellent) while waiting for exposures to finish. I'll take it or the Giro out west so I can finally gaze at New Mexico's desert skies, too. Let's see which works for what before deciding who goes yonder (if I had to bet, I'd think the Giro will go west because the 6-inch F5.9 achromat and the 10-inch Newtonian are too heavy for the Voyager).




My deep-sky photos are made with a variety of sensors and optics. Deepest images come now from a ZWO ASI1600MM Cooled Pro CMOS camera, an ASIair (model 1) and sometimes one of several laptops. A good many images come from an unmodded Canon 6D but a lot more will be coming from an R6. Video and video extracts begin in a Canon EOS M, usually running in crop mode via Magic Lantern firmware (but the 6D and especially the R6 will probably see more use). Telescopes include an AT10RC, an Orion 10" F4 Newtonian, and a pair of apochromats: a TMB92SS and a AT65EDQ. A very early Astro-Physics 5" F6 gets some use, too. So do lots of camera lenses on both the ASI1600 and on the Canons. A solar Frankenscope made using a 90mm F10 Orion achromat and the etalon, relay optics, and focuser from a Lunt 60 feeding a small ZWO camera will see more action as the Sun comes back to life (Autostakkart!3 is my current fav for image stacking). Mounts include an iOpton SkyTracker (original model), a bargain LXD-55, a Losmandy G11 (492 Digital Drive), and an Astro-Physics Mach1. PixInsight does most of the heavy lifting; Photoshop polishes. Some of the toys are more or less permanently based in New Mexico. I desperately hope to get back soon.


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                   © 2021, David Cortner