February 18, 2009: La Azotea
The night of February 18 to February 19 of 2009 was one of our first attempts to make some astrophotography with some degree of success. We were able to make to CG-5 mount to work, we made a polar alignment with EQAlign and autoguiding worked properly.
As we didn't have too much time, we decided to take a photo of M42 (yeah, so original). A few days earlier, Antonio tried to make a similar photo, but he only took 2 different exposure photos and we stacked them rapidly (so the result was not good).
In this occasion we took 7 photos of 10 seconds each, 8 of 30 seconds and 14 of 2 minutes. All the photos had a dark frame directly applied by the camera. We didn't take flat nor bias frames (and this shows up in the final results). It is important to notice that the observation place (La Azotea) is not an optimum place, as there is too much luminic pollution (it is in the middle of a city).
Once the shots were taken, we also tried to capture comet Lulin, but we got some guiding problems (among other things) and we did not obtain any decent photo.
The processing of the images has also been quite a challenge, mainly because it was the first time we were making it and there are many variables that we do not control yet. In fact, we have tried to process the images several different times experimenting with all the parameters and we got the results that you can see below. Obviously, to know the processing software affects the final result. We are sure we will improve with time.
- Camera: Canon EOS 400D. No mods and no filters. Primary focus
- Telescope: Sky-Watcher ED80
- Autoguiding: PHD Guiding y autoguiding solution from Lunático (EZG60 + Luna QHY-5 Mono)
- Mount: CG-5
- Exposure: 7x10s, 8x30s, 14x2m = 33m
- Adjustments: Dark frame for each photo
- Processing: IRIS and GIMP.