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Wadsworth Observatory's LX850 blog

Evaluating Meade's LX850 telescope mount



Finally – another RGB image. Narrowband filters won’t help with this one. It’s very dim. I just wanted to see what could be done with it from my urban location. It isn’t great, but it’s much better than I expected! Seven five minute exposures each R, G, B (no time for L on a work night). Usual gear; 12″ LX850, QSI683WSG-8.


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I’m kind of locked into this bicolor narrowband mode – but at least I stumbled onto an appropriately sized target this time. It’s a nice, big planetary nebula. As usual, the sky didn’t cooperate during the weekend so this was another worknight (read “in a  hurry to get to bed”) shot. Grabbed an hour each Ha and OIII. Still using the 12″ Meade LX850 and the QSI683WSG-8.


Can be seen at and presumably that one will get updated as time is found to tune up the processing.



Not a great night fopr imaging; transparency was as bad as the Clear Sky Chart said it would be so even with 8 minute exposures it was noisy. Cleaned it up as best I could in a hurry so I can go to bed (work day tomorrow). I might be able to do a more gentle job later. 48 minutes each Ha and OIII, 12″ Meade LX850, QSI683WSG-8 – as usual. I’ll be switching to the FSQ-106N soon. This target makes much more sense at that scale!


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I don’t remember the last time I was able to image two nights in a row! This is 8 exposure groups, each with 5 minute luminance and 100 second R, G, and B. Still with the 12″ LX850 and QSI683WSG-8. Larger version at .



I know it’s time to switch over to the FSQ for nebula season but I’m still having fun with the 12″ OTA so I’ll probably do a few more inappropriately large objects with it.  This is a bicolor image, using Ha and OIII filters. The OIII is mainly to give me some star color.



Got one more image tonight. Clouds rolled in and cut the session short but I got JUST enough data to put this one together. It’s the usual gear; 12″ LX850, QSI683WSG-8. 6 exposures of 5 minutes each R,G,B. Larger at



Here’s a quick middle-of-the-night process of some data I captured tonight. 5 exposures of 8 minutes Ha and OIII.


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One last shot from last night. M92 with 12″ LX850, QSI683WSG-8


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M56 captured remotely. The usual gear and the usual scheme (50 minutes L, 10 minutes each RGB, 12″ LX850).



SUMM97RGB-2-1000I’ve been very gradually working toward a fully remote capability. I don’t need it here; the observatory is only a few steps from the house. The ultimate goal is to get something set up and debugged so that if a remote location becomes available I’ll have the right stuff to make use of it. The only things not yet implemented are the roof control and euipment power. I was going to a local star party so I powered up and pushed the “open” button – then left for the party.


After dark, I grabbed the laptop and connected to my observatory via TeamViewer (great software!) . I decided on M97, set it all up, and started exposing. When I came back to the laptop it was complete so I selected another target (M56) and started that one. Before leaving for home I started another (M92) and powered down and closed up when I got home.


This M97 isn’t great; dim objects need much more exposure time when shooting narrowband. It was fun, though.


Usual gear; 12″ LX850, QSI683WSG-8, 80 minutes each Ha and OIII.


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