View Full Version here: : M20 - The night of the Trifid
16-06-2012, 09:00 PM
Well last night was another one of those nights where everything came together. I completely changed how my guidescope was attached to my main scope and it looks like my flex issues have been fixed.
The attached image consists of 41 three minute subs taken using a QHY8L OSC attached to my 8" f/6 newt. Guiding with a QHY5 through an Orion ST80 and PHD. A coma corrector and Baader UHC-S filter completed the imaging train. Darks, flates, etc. were also taken and applied. Stacking was in DSS and processing in StarTools. Final cosmetics and presentation in GIMP.
So without further ado, here is my interpretation of M20, The Trifid Nebula.
16-06-2012, 09:35 PM
:) Lovely work Mario.
Isn't it such a pleasure when everything just works the way it should.
16-06-2012, 10:08 PM
You have some nice detail, especially the dark lanes.
16-06-2012, 11:04 PM
Nice job you did there on the Trifid.
I also have an 8" f6 Newt.
Do you have a photo of your new guide scope arrangement?
I am using an OAG because my guide scopes always had differential flexure.
17-06-2012, 12:09 AM
Good Mario - lovely and smooth - mine looks like a sandpaper and airbrush job
17-06-2012, 06:18 AM
Thanks Jeanette - it certainly makes for a more pleasant night when everything works!! I think half the battle was realising that taking time when setting up and aligning will preempt about 80% of all possible problems! I've also added an old computer fan to my scope using an old Hartmann mask that I'd made to get the mirror down to ambient quicker - I think it works!!
Thanks Justin - I think all three components of the nebula - emission, reflection and absorption - are well defined in this image. I'd have to say it's one of the best I've ever taken!!
Thank you Jen - there are some processing techniques that I use which I'll tell you about at the next meeting.
Thanks!! As for the flex problem, my original bracket that I used to attach my guidescope was made by a friend. It worked really well except that it took a lot of care and tightening attaching it each session. However, there was usually some drift prevelant. I decided to spend $29 at Andrews for a GSO dovetail adapter which I've bolted to my scope using a sturdy piece of aluminium. Now it's a simple matter of fit and screw to have a very tight fixture. I've attached a picture of the setup - there was abolutely no drift in my images which was fantastic!
17-06-2012, 08:11 AM
A great Trifid there Mario and good to hear your equipment worked well, as you say makes for a pleasant evening of imaging :thumbsup: .
17-06-2012, 11:16 AM
I'm on an OAG as well and now my drift alignment is pretty much spot on, my guiding is getting quite acceptable - a bit of PEC creeping in, but it's an LX90 so it has to be expected.
17-06-2012, 12:32 PM
Thanks for the photo of your guide scope setup.
It does look nice & solid.
I found that a tight guide scope worked well for a Northern target
but wasn't so good when the telescope was pointing South.
I don't know the reason for that so I'll wait for your next pics to see how you go.
You certainly nailed the Trifid.
Thanks for sharing.
18-06-2012, 06:31 AM
Thanks Mike for the wonderful comment regarding my version of the Trifid!
I usually print off a 6"x8" image at BigW of all my images which then go into a photo album. As I was putting this one away yesterday I came across my first effort of the Trifid which I'd done just under 2 years ago. Definitely chalk and cheese material! But that's what makes this passion so wonderful - the pursuit of the perfect image and all the knowledge we pick up along the way in trying to attain that which, at times, seems near on impossible!!
18-06-2012, 01:16 PM
Thats a corker Mario, love how the triffid popps out and has a magic glow to it, kinda alive mate, Fantastic ! !
19-06-2012, 06:35 AM
Thanks Bob! I have to agree that it looks alive but then when you think about it, these nebulae that we take pictures of are alive. They're churning, hot, massive, structured clouds of Hydrogen which are giving birth to new stars. You can't get more alive than that!
At the bottom of the Trifid in this image, I noticed that there are two stars which have trails going off at about 135 degrees (0 is at the top). At first I thought it might have been a stacking error but when I've checked other images, including Hubble, I see them as well. Imagine how strong a wind would be needed to strip material of those two stars. Incredible - it breathes as well!!
19-06-2012, 08:22 AM
A beautiful photo Mario.
You've got your equipment working so well.
19-06-2012, 08:50 AM
Thanks Ross - everything is working a treat at the moment! :D
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