M106, April 2021
galaxy

M106, April 2021

While I wait for my camera to be replaced, it’s back to my trusty Canon DSLR. At just over 12 hours of data captured (just under 11 hours actually used in integration) taken over April 6th and 12th, I was able to put together a view of M106 and some of the surrounding galaxies, capturing the wispier halo that envelopes the brighter and more active core of the galaxy. This was the first time I’ve used data from multiple nights for a single shot, and I’ll certainly be making some improvements in the future, mainly around how to control for field rotation and some tweaks for larger batch integration in PixInsight.

  • David Miller
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies, April 2021
galaxy

Bode's and Cigar Galaxies, April 2021

After nearly two months of waiting for my new camera to finally arrive (QHY268C), I was able to get 4 hours of observing on a night of middling seeing and some challenging light pollution issues before it started having hardware issues requiring shipping it back for replacement. I love the arrangement of M81 and M82 next to each other in the sky, with one straight-on and the other seen from the edge, though it was a challenge to get this shot to turn out at all with the overall low-quality data I gathered.

  • David Miller
Whirlpool Galaxy, March 2021
galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy, March 2021

Despite pessimistic weather models, this past Thursday turned out to be the first clear night I’ve had for observing since last September. While I was late getting started (due to said pessimistic models) and also my first time trying to setup in the yard of our new house, it turned out to be a pretty ideal night. Rather chilly (better for my uncooled 800D if not so great for me), and clear of clouds until past 4AM.

  • David Miller
Andromeda Galaxy, September 2020
galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy, September 2020

I’d been eager for awhile to turn my sights towards M 31, and as my last target of the summer, I was able to get 5 and a half hours worth of capture time of it. I will definitely be revisiting it soon though, as I had made some inadvertant adjustments to my backspacing that caused some pretty major issues with my field-flattener that I couldn’t crop out since I barely had a large enough sensor to capture the whole galaxy to begin with.

  • David Miller
M13 (Reprocessed)
globular cluster

M13 (Reprocessed)

Another story of revisiting a previous target with a bit more experience. A similar story to my introduction to imaging Jupiter, this shot was originally taken in July of 2019, and mostly due to inexperience there was only a single usable light frame (of 30 seconds total exposure) to work with and processing it was just tweaking levels in Photoshop to get it looking as good as possible. I figured now that I was a little bit more comfortable with PixInsight, it might be time to revisit the old data and see if I could clean it up any.

  • David Miller
Jupiter - 2019 and 2020
planetary

Jupiter - 2019 and 2020

Back in summer 2019, while at a friend’s house looking through his telescope at Jupiter, the idea of getting into astrophotography started to germinate someone in my brain. Soon after, I had done the bare minimum of reading to find some open-source software tools for image stacking and roped him into staying up late and putting his gear to use. With his Celeston 6" SCT, a Nikon DSLR (with a hand controller) and lots of new software I had no idea how to use, we went to work.

  • David Miller
Pinwheel Galaxy, July 2020
galaxy

Pinwheel Galaxy, July 2020

After quite a few failed nights working out all the issues in my setup, this was my first successful deep-sky shot. M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. Plenty still went wrong, I was only able to get 75 minutes worth of exposures before dew and tracking issues shut me down for the night and my flats didn’t turn out (leaving me to crop out a large dust mote), but I was still happy to see the first glimpse of another galaxy taken through my telescope.

  • David Miller