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B33 - Horsehead nebula

Constellation: Orion

January 02, 2007. This is a "first light" image using my new C8 rings.

C8 @ f6, Artemis 285, 9x420s 1x1 binning

December 26, 2004. From my back garden.
This time using a 400mm F5 refractor (in prime focus) and a H-alpha filter. The stars look like funny little Christmas trees due to some misalignment, but the overal impression is nice. Processed In K3CCDTools2. Mixed a red channel image with a luminisity image in Photoshop (same image, but the red more blurred).

Vesta SC3 bw RAW. 168x25s.

January 17, 2004. From my back garden.
Again the Horsehead, this time using "short" exposures with my new Meade F3.3 focal reducer allowing me to image at f2.6 ! This image is also my first real astro image after converting the Vesta 690 SC3 B/W to RAW mode.

Vesta 690 SC3 B/W: 1000x4sec

December 30, 2003. From my back garden.
Another B33, this time in colour! It is an LRGB combination from 2 new captures which are similar to December 29, but using 2 cameras:

Vesta 690 SC3 B/W: 127x17s
Vesta 675 SC3 Col: 114x25s

December 29, 2003. From my back garden.
C8 using Mogg 0.6 reducer, Vesta SC3 B/W modified using setpwc (sharpness=0, noise red=0) Capture/Processing: K3CCDTools. 125x16s, ~100% gain. Notice how the stars have no ears (unlike the Sept 28 image) due to setpwc mod.
September 28, 2003.
50x35 seconds from Harestua.
All images below were shot with my old Vesta 675K SC1 camera (uncooled). Also, at this time, I had no PEC to correct the tracking. The controller was an Astromeccanica DA-1 which died the next day.

January 8, 2003.

My first attempt at the Horsehead, using the DA-1 controller and some experimantal GOTO software I had written for that controller. The camera was the SC1. Here is what I wrote in an email at the time:

"After working with programming of goto capability for my new controller and motors the last couple of weeks, I was very eager to test if it worked "for real", and yesterday and today was the first proper tests. I am very happy to report that it does indeed work as expected after correcting some sign errors :-) I have been "jumping around" between bright stars in Orion tonight, even though the temperature dropped _again_ to -15C and the sky became very milky due to the "frost smoke" as we call it here.

Goto from Zeta Tauri to Alpha Orionis (Betelgeuse) to Zeta Orionis (Alnitak) was a joy, and from there it was a small hop to the multiple binary Sigma Orionis, which I imaged (3 sec exposures Vesta 675K SC, C8/f3). Then the "clou of the evening" was supposed to be the Horsehead. I used the Goto, but had no idea if it was pointing in the right direction when it stopped, so I simply shot some 30 sec exposures just for reference. After some closer studies, it turns out it was indeed pointing right, but there was no chance of seeing anything under these conditions, so I have helped the image with some unconventional postprocessing. It is actually spot on :-)"

Peter Katreniak commented on this and asked me to do some heavy stretching. It gave me a surprise, and I told him:

"Based on your input, I just gave my 30x30sec capture a second processing attempt in your excellent K3CCDTools. This time I really abused the histogram. Guess what: THE HORSEHEAD IS THERE!!!! :-))) See the image! I gave it some gaussian blur + size reduction in Photoshop in order to reduce the bad pattern effect."