Wednesday, July 18, 2007

M51 First light casa de Estrellas

After many weeks of cloudy nights and just being plain tired I finally had a clear night when I was able to get the telescope out. So having got the telescope out on the roof, While I got the laptop up and running, Helen sorted out the polar alignment of the mount. Once it got dark I started to align the mount, then took a look at Saturn which unfortunately to low to attempt any imaging. So having lost Saturn in the haze close to the ground I swung the scope over to Jupiter which was fairly high in the sky. Having had a good look with my eyes, it was time for me to do something which I have been itching to do for quite a while I finally got the camera out and took some shots of Jupiter. I was amazed at how easy it was to get the thing to focus and having the target stably in view. I always used to struggle on my old scope and mount to keep even large objects in view. I have yet to process the images of Jupiter. But having been able to get a few good minutes of Jupiter I though I would give things a good test. So I slewed the scope round to M51 and once I had it located I took a set of 10 exposures each of 60 Sec. The following day looking at the images I though hmm these aren't that good, there was a lot of noise in then image, then I subtracted a dark frame which is an image taken with the cover over the scope so it will just capture the camera noise. Having done this I was blown away there was the classic double spiral of M51. Here is the result after stacking 4 of the images and Helen adjusting levels in Photoshop.

M51 Stacked image from 5 60 second unguided exposures. Mount: EQ6, Scope: Skywatcher ED80, Camera: Meade DSI Pro, Filter: IR block.
Taken: 17 July 2007 00:00 (Yes Midnight) First Photographic deep sky image from Casa de Estrellas, Canary Islands


Andy Forkgen said...

Now that's impressive - I assume that you'd have problems even seeing the bright bit in the middle (the nebula?) in London let alone the spirals. Great stuff.

Rah the Mummy said...

WOW - that's amazing!!!!!