After spending a lot of time and energy getting the mini-WASP telescope array up and running at the New Forest Observatory, it was a pleasant change to do some imaging back at the Curdridge Observatory.

Last night a brief clear spell gave me time to dust off the homemade GEM telescope mount. Happily everything seemed to be behaving after few weeks of neglect. I was a bit worried the telescope was had got the hump with me running over to play at the NFO.

With the clouds starting to come in, I only had time to take 4 x 900s exposures of the very bright Bubble Nebula region with the Hydrogen Alpha filter in place.

For a change I decided to let Maxim handle the guiding the DIY mount instead of PHD guiding. Surprisingly it seems to work better than PHD guiding, which was unexpected. Using Maxim to do the guiding opens up the ability to dither the sub exposures a bit to handle the hot pixels and noise. The standard webcam settings in Maxim didn't seem to work for long exposure, but a bit of informed tweaking on my part got it working.

Maxim also supports plate solving: Quite nice to point the mouse at any star in the image and have it tell you the RA/DEC coordinates and the catalogue number automatically. Opens the door to a bit of asteroid spotting if I feel so inclined :)

Anyhow, here is the image: Pretty noisy because it is only 1 hour of data, but much better than nothing!

bubble nebula NGC 7635