Hydrogen Alpha comes to the Curdridge Observatory.
Today I took delivery of a 6nm Astrodon Hydrogren Alpha filter. In direct contravention of the laws of new astronomy kit, it was a clear evening, with not too much fog.
Of course, I wanted to try out the new toy. I was not very careful about target selection. I looked at skymap, and saw that all that stuff between Cas and Per looked in about the right place to do an imaging run during the course of the evening. So I aimed at a part of IC 1805 which seemed to contain a nice mix of bright bits and dim bits.
The first 5 minute frame from the Artemis 285 in 2x2 binning mode had me floored! Amazing! The background level only about 200 ADU over the bias!
I tried 10 minute frame... alas a small amount of flexure in the guiding system. So I compromised on 420s exposures. Even then the background level was only about 600... much less than I would normally use. Employing lots of self control I stuck to one target and ran off 2.5 hours worth. Had to stop due to the very wet air and needing to be up early tomorrow.
I don't buy new astro kit as often as some poeple, and always wait a long time before making another step up, but now I have my first hydrogen alpha image... and I am jolly pleased with it for a first attempt! These Ha filters are amazing! Such tiny weenie stars!
Of course, next I must work harder on the guiding system so I can go unbinned for the really big shots.
I don't normally process the night I capture, but I was very excited by this one, so decided to "cook" it tonight - I may have another go tomorrow. I think this evening I took the processing too far.
Catpured in ArtemisCapture. Calibrated in ImagetoolsCA. Combined in Maxim. Processing in photoshop.
This image was autoguided using my 400mm focal length refractor and my black and white SC1 webcam.
Current Imaging equipment configuration
Exposure Details :
Coma Corrector Ha 19x420s on 200mm @ F5 with ART285
Curdridge Observatory, Southampton,UK