Astrophotography of NGC 2264Hydrogen alpha narrowband imaging using the Antlia 3.5nm HA filter
- Telescope: Borg55FL with f3.6 field flatenner
- Camera: ASI1600MM
- Mount: Avalon M Zero
- Alignment: compass and a quick drift align using PHD2
- Acquisition software: NINA
- Guiding: PHD2 and dither
- Image: HA 12* 600 secs = just over 2 hours
- Gain: 111
- Temp: -5 Deg
- Processing: AstroPixel Processor: lights and darks – drizzle
- Bortle Class 7 site
- Location: Kedron, Queensland
- Date: 28/12/2020
The Cone Nebula & Christmas Tree Cluster NGC 2264
A break in the cloudy weather presented the opportunity to capture 2 hours of hydrogen alpha data of this amazing star forming region in the constellation Monoceros. After a 5 minute drift align using PHD2, the Avalon M Instruments M Zero mount was steered to NGC2264 using the hand controller while watching the current mount icon in Sky Charts (CDC). A quick 4 second exposure using SharpCap was saved as a FIT and sent to All Sky Plate Solver to confirm the co-ordinates. NINA, my image acquisition program of choice was used to cool the camera and capture the data sequence. Nina is free, very intuitive to use and works seamlessly with the M – Zero mount, PHD2 and the ASI cameras.
Processing was done in AstroPixel Processor with final tonal adjustment in Photoshop. The image would benefit from more data and longer subs but with only a rough PA, I think I would be pushing over 10 minutes.
Dual Imaging setup
A project that I have been working on is adding a dual imaging setup to the M Zero mount. As wide field imaging has always appealed to me, I set about designing and 3D printing an adapter to mount a vintage Canon 50mm f1.2 FD lens to my ASI294MC camera. This was to then sit ontop of the Borg 55FL. I was able to test the Canon50mm FD lens and ASI294MC combination taking a 15 minute livestack exposure using SharpCap. With the moon at 50% illumination and a Bortle 7 sky, there was significant light pollution and light gradients. These were partially removed in AstroPixel Processor. The setup has lots of potential for imaging but the combination of wide field of view and the sensitivity of the 294 makes it only really usable at a dark sky site.