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Wadsworth Observatory's LX850 blog

Evaluating Meade's LX850 telescope mount

lrgb-8-1200

 

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.

 

Larger version: http://astrob.in/109041/B/

 

 

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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 http://astrob.in/108701/B/ and presumably that one will get updated as time is found to tune up the processing.

 

IC1396RGB-6-1000

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!

 

Larger version at http://astrob.in/107769/0/

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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 http://astrob.in/105711/0/ .

elephantRGB-e-1000

 

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.

M76RGB-7-1000

 

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 http://www.astrobin.com/105511/

NGC6888RGB-5-1000

 

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

 

Larger version at http://astrob.in/105493/0/

 

 

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

 

Larger at: CN

 

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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.

 

Larger at: http://www.cloudynights.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=29865&size=big&password=&sort=1&thecat=