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Old 17-02-2019, 07:07 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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A spooky night

My first go at NGC 3242 and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Firstly, this thing is small, very small. I was going to try it with my SW Esprit 100 but I thought 550mm of focal length would be wasting my time, so I shot it at 1000mm focal length instead. Seeing was pretty good early this morning and after the moon had set I started exposing but as per usual about 20 subs into the session high cloud rolled in to spoil the party. So after throwing away 7 of them due to bad tracking ( balance issues I think ), I ended up with 13mins of unguided 1min subs at 800 iso through the 8 inch Newt using a modded Canon 550d.

Despite it's size, it's surprisingly bright and initially when I sent the Heq5 pro mount using GOTO to this object, I thought it ( or me! ) had made a mistake, as all I could see on my test shot was a bright star like object in the middle of a black void.

The photo on the left is the full frame showing how small it is and obviously the one on the right is a cropped version from the full frame.
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Last edited by Mickoid; 17-02-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:27 PM
RyanJones
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Good work Michael,

Isn't that NGC 3242 ( ghost of Jupiter ) ?

I'm not sure where in Melbourne you had these clear skies ( all be it short lived ) but well done. Might be a good first object for the C9.25 I've just aquired
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Old 17-02-2019, 09:24 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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You're right Ryan and I'm not sure where I got the other two numbers from. I obviously didn't pay attention to the golden rules : Read the question carefully and always check your work before handing it in!

This would be a great target for your new scope. More focal length and bright enough to overcome your higher focal ratio. I took this at about 3.30am this morning from my suburban front yard, there were no clouds until about 4.45am when traces of high cloud appeared and thickened by 5.00am. I got to bed at 5.30am.
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Old 18-02-2019, 11:09 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Mick,
Nicely done. Donít often see planetary nebulas in this forum, youíve certainly found a very interesting target. It has some interesting detail in the core which has resolved well even at a small size such as this. Planetary nebs are cool space objects and this one is a beauty.
Would be good to capture this with more aperture but youíve shown that it is achievable with the modest 1000 Focal length Newt.
Good work.
Anth
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Old 18-02-2019, 02:14 PM
raymo
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I've always thought this should be "The Cat's Eye Nebula," as it looks more like one than the actual cats eye neb does. With well over 50 yrs of film AP under my belt, you could say that I am experienced, but I haven't been able
to adapt to digital, so I have no idea what causes the "golliwog hair" on your
close up version. I took a snap yrs ago with my 8" 1000mm Newt, and there is no sign of it.
raymo
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Old 18-02-2019, 03:30 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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That's interesting Raymo, I know there is another outer shell that some longer exposures pick up. As I recall you mentioned, yours was a single exposure. To get the core detail you have to go easy on the exposure. As mine was a 13 min exposure, I probably picked up some of the outer shell at the expense of overexposing the core. Or maybe since you photographed it, it's had a hair transplant.
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Old 18-02-2019, 07:16 PM
raymo
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Yes it was 30secs 8" f/5 ISO 800. Here is the original and a crop. No sign of hair when enlarged further. I have a dim memory of getting hair on something
ages ago, so maybe its a stacking/ processing artifact.
raymo
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Old 18-02-2019, 08:41 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Fellas,
On close inspection you will see that in Micks image the stars also have this fringing effect which makes me think that it is likely to be an atmospheric cause. Perhaps high humidity has created this aberration. I donít think it is just localised to the nebula so this points to the conditions rather than anything else. Roymoís image is cleaner in this sense. Just my opinion.
Anth
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Old 18-02-2019, 09:59 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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Thanks for your comments Anthony. High cloud stopped me shooting any more subs so perhaps cloud had affected all my subs, it's just that they were so thin I couldn't see them at the start. Excuses, excuses, there's always something to explain why it didn't turn out better. It may have just been bad processing. It was still fun hunting down and photographing something for the first time.
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