7/5/2011 New gear and M27

14 July 2011

Hello Everyone,

It’s been awhile since our last posting, and we have some great changes to announce here at the Heller Observatory.  We have recently upgraded our equipment, which should allow us to take even better photos than before.  New equipment now includes an Astro-Tech AT10RC 10″ Ritchey Chrétien telescope and a Quantum Scientific Imaging 583wsg CCD camera with narrowband filters.

The use of narrowband filters will allow us to image nebulas even from light-polluted downtown Seattle.

In addition to the new equipment, we have had our Celestron CGE mount hypertuned by Deep Space Products and I have also installed a Gary Bennett-style CGE cable mod.

Enough about the gear – lets see the pictures!

The first image I have finished processing is M27.  This was taken from downtown Seattle using 8nm HA and OIII narrowband filters from Baader.  Unfortunately I did not get the mount leveled this evening, so the stars in the image aren’t quite round due to tracking errors.  Oh well.  Here are the details:

M27 – The Dumbbell Nebula
4 exposures of HA, with 20 minute subs each
3 exposures of OIII, with 20 minute subs each
Imaging scope:  Astro-Tech AT10RC  Ritchey Chrétien
Imaging camera:  QSI 583wsg monochrome
Guide camera:  Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Capture and processing in Maxim DL
Final processing in Photoshop.


If you want to do a comparison, check out the M27 image taken on 6/7/10 using the modified Digital SLR camera and the C11 telescope.  That one was actually taken from a dark sky site!