Mike's Astro Photos
Feb.18 2012

Messier 106

by , under Galaxies

Last night was the first fully clear night we’ve had in weeks and with only a crescent moon popping out after 3:30, it was the perfect night for some astrophotography. I am still fine tuning aspects of my system and spent the first few hours of the night running tests, measuring various things and tweaking knobs in an effort to make improvements to polar alignment, PEC & collimation. I’ve gotten a new software suite from CCD Ware that really lets you fine tune these things. I didn’t want to waste the entire night tinkering so I moved on after making a little progress. Also on my list of procedural improvements, is mastering CCD Auto Pilot, which I’m getting better at, but still not entirely there. Last night I actually had a CCDAP5 session going great, but it lost the guide star after 2 frames and then lost the ability to plate solve. Not wanting to waste the night’s opportunity with tinkering, I rolled back to my non-automated procedures and started imaging the spiral galaxy Messier 106.

Messier 106 - February 17th, 2012

Photo Details
Messier 106
RGB 4X600s / 2 hours total exposure
Camera: SBIG ST8300
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Freeland MD
Date: 02/17/2012(RGB)
Software: The SkyX, CCDSoft, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop

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