Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quick Deep Sky Imaging 2012-04-11

When I arrived home from work, I saw a clear sky waiting for me. I wasted no time and carried my imaging stuffs to my observing spot. In the recent months, I haven't imaged any deep sky target and concentrate my imaging on the 2 planetary targets namely Mars and Saturn. Now, I wanted another deep sky shot. I replaced the 127mm maksutov installed on the mount with a short tube 80mm refractor.

I did a rough polar alignment, then started searching for the target I have in mind: the Carina Nebula. I know that the nebula is somewhere between the southern cross and the tail of Canis major, so I started the search there. I was surprised that I couldn't find this relatively easy target with the short tube. I went back to my room, picked up my 10x50 binocular and scanned the sky with it. Still I couldn't find it. Then I tried to scan the sky without any optical aid. There I noticed that I was fooled by the "False cross". The real southern cross is a short hop to the left. With the real cross in sight, I found the nebula easily with my bins.

After finding my target, I aimed my scope at the target and started imaging. After around 20 shots, the target was covered by a raised section of the roof. So I moved my scope, did a rough polar alignment again and captured another target just beside the nebula, the rich open cluster NGC3532.

 Eta Carinae Nebula with the Keyhole nebula in the middle


After capturing these 2 targets, I went back to my room and performed the usual process of aligning, stacking and post processing the frames.

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