Christmas Gaps in the Clouds

  • Nik 

Last night I did manage to see Jupiter and Saturn shining in the sky (briefly) from amongst the trees but there was a large bank of cloud approaching from the west so I didn’t bother driving to my favourite roadside venue to take a snap (If I’d managed to get out I would have tried out my new Barlow). Tonight, as predicted, does look abysmally cloudy so no chance.

On the plus side last night did clear a bit later on so I got a view hours of DSO in trying out my new CLS filter.

M45
M45 - Skywatcher 200PDS + Hypercam 183C Pro + CLS. 13 x 5min + 1 x 10min. Total Exp 1hr 15min

First up was M45. 5 minute exposures through my 8″ refractor with a few 10 minute exposures at the end.

Note: This is without flats but I’m still reasonably pleased with the results.

Then a quick go at the Flame Nebula (a bit of a Christmas tradition with me). Again 8″ refractor with CLS filter. Only 35 mins of 5 min exposures.

Note: I think I’ve over cooked the red balance to bring out the surrounding brown cloud. I may have another go at processing this.

NGC2024
NGC2024 - Skywatcher 200PDS + Hypercam 183C Pro + CLS. 7 x 5min. Total Exp: 35 min.

Comparing this to the test shot a took a month or so ago when I was testing my belt mod on my mount, I think, shows what a big difference the CLS filter is making.

Before
NGC2024
After

Looking at the forecast for the rest of the week I may have taken my last pictures for 2020 but we’ll see what Christmas Eve brings.

Happy Holidays

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