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Wadsworth Observatory's LX850 blog

Evaluating Meade's LX850 telescope mount



I guess I’m still in a bicolor rut, but at least I got away from the widefield stuff. Here’s M1 with eight ten minute exposures each Ha and OIII. Working at F/8 instead of F/5 is about one aperture stop decrease, so Ideally I’d be doubling exposure time.  I lack the patience so I’m still using 10 minute exposures. Click the thumbnail above for the larger version, or click here for less compressed.



I know – I promised no more bicolor widefields this season. It rained much of the weekend, though, and I can’t swap optical tubes with the roof closed! I decided to make the best of it and grabbed this one. Eight exposures ten minutes each, H-a and OIII. Same equipment lineup as the last several. Less compressed here.



This should be the last one with the Tak for the season. It looks like it will be a while before we have sky here again and I expect to be back on the Meade by then. Less compressed here .




Still trying to get the last widefield shots before Cygnus goes behind the house. This one is six ten minute exposures each, H-a and OIII. Same gear as the last several. Less compressed at




I’ll switch out the optical tubes this weekend, so here’s one last shot with the FSQ-106N. My last M33 was disappointing due to poor transparency so I gave it another try tonight. This one pleases me much more. Uncompressed at:






My refurbished Moonlight focuser is back already (Thanks for the GREAT service, Ron!) so I’ll be switching back to the 12″ Meade when weather permits. Here’s one last FSQ106N shot for now – an old favorite.




Another quick shot from the other night. Nine exposures of five minutes each RGB. FSQ-106N, QSI683WSG-8, LX850.





Grabbed a shot of our nearest spiral galaxy. Nine exposures of seven minutes each R,G,B. FSQ-106N, QSI683WSG-8, LX850 as usual. I lost control of the star colors in this same-night-before-I go-to bed processing session. I’ll clean it up later and stick that version on Astrobin.




I guess I’m still in a narrowband mood, even though the Moon isn’t a problem these days. This one is from the FSQ-106N/QSI683WSG-8/LX850 combo. Clouds rolled in before I was finished but I ended up with five ten minute exposures each, H-a and OIII so this will have to do. Larger version at


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Ya know, I think I just shot this one (at five times the focal length) around the last full Moon – and here I am again. Naturally, the gradients from our hazy skies  were horrific. I guess I just enjoy the challenge. I’ll probably clean this one up a bit when my mood improves but here’s what I have so far. The link at the end of this post will go to this version, or to an improved version if I update it later.

FSQ-106N and QSI683WSG-8 on LX850.

6 exposures 7 minutes L, 6 exposures each of 3 minutes R, G, B. I had intended to go longer with the L, but it saturated on skyglow at 8 minutes.