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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Caldwell C30

Well...it's a start. Caldwell C30 is my first attempt at processing images with PixInsight. I chose this galaxy as my first project because C30 is considered a twin of our own Milky Way. The galaxy is about 40 million light years away. With only four hours of integration time, the image is lacking in detail. However, upon closer inspection, several other galaxies are visible. Next winter, I'll increase the integration time and add Ha to the mix. The image was acquired in LRGB @ 600 seconds each, 3x3 binning, -28.0C, direct guide with dithering. Nothing fancy here. I wanted to test the optics, imaging train, and mount. I have not been disappointed. I'm very impressed with how well Software Bisque SkyX camera add-on works. The autoguiding features are very easy to setup and use. FocusMax 4 works extremely well with Image Link. I found that I have eliminated plate solving issues by using Image Link instead of Pinpoint when autofocusing with FocusMax 4. I can have the entire system running from initialization in under 10 minutes. That includes initializing and syncing ScopeDome, homing the mount, autofocusing, and plate solving for pointing accuracy. I'm not quite ready for automation, but it's very close. I'm slowly incorporating CCDAP, one step at a time. Please stay tuned for more astropics.     George

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