The Starry Night, 28

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11/9/2010: Adding H-a to the Veil and to the Pinwheel made dramatic improvements in their portraits. There are some huge H-II regions in M33 and many smaller ones which outline the spiral arms. The shock fronts in the Veil get clearer and clearer as signal piles up. So I devoted all night last night to imaging with the Schuler 10nm filter.

Here's M33, the same color data as yesterday with 4h15m of H-a layered in:

M33 + Ha

M33, The Pinwheel Galaxy
2x300 R, G, and B.
35x300 L
17x900 Ha


I'm having trouble getting a clean, well-saturated color version of the Veil. The strong H-a component dominates and washes out all attempts to apply rich color. The H-a image itself is impressive, though:


veil ha

NGC 6992, Part of the Veil Nebula
22x900 Ha

That comes to an exposure of 5h30m. It begins to have a kind of Alan McClure look, which I find particularly gratifying.

I've been supervising the early images (up until about midnight), then turning the telescope loose to take the longer H-a images while I catch some sleep. Amy unplugs the cord from the wall when she starts getting ready for for early classes, which keeps the telescope from tracking into odd positions, and then I go out and collect the netbook an hour or two later. To keep the netbook warm overnight, I've been upending a plastic tub over the computer and stashing a small, hooded worklight (40w) under there with it. The tub keeps dew off; the lamp should keep the computer warmish. (I've ordered a heating pad from Amazon to make this more predictable and reliable.)


11/10/2010. Next up, maybe a long exposure of NGC 891. There's a nest of distant galaxies behind that larger galaxy in Andromeda, and the 5-inch refractor should have both enough resolution to show interesting detail in NGC 891 and still catch many of the 30-odd galaxies of Abell 347. The infrared water vapor satellite image suggests that I may not get to start this tonight. When I do, maybe I should begin with an RGB sequence of M27 to get started with that subject and shake out the setup, hen pick up NGC 891 as it comes within reach.

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                   © 2010, David Cortner