Sunday, April 3, 2016

#30 - Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 - Finally, the mount works!

WOWEE WOW WOWWW!!  The results are AMAZING if everything actually works!!  Alignment went smoothly, for once.  Even the first guesses weren’t very far off – they were all within the finderscope.  It was in the low-50s outside, and quite windy, but the sky was clear and transparency was good, despite the wind.  I started off the evening with a set on M81, Bode’s Galaxy, and I could see the spiral structure even in the subs.  I stacked them the next morning, and besides the vignetting (I have an idea how to do flats with the German mount, since I move the camera to upright, I just haven’t tried it yet), it looks great!  This is with just 28x30 sec, ISO-3200.
M81 Bode's Galaxy, Nikon D3100 on my C11, f/6.3 focal reducer
33x30s, ISO-3200

I tried getting M81 and M82 in the same shot, but I couldn’t find M82.  Maybe I was looking in the wrong direction, because in pictures online, they look pretty close together…I’ll try again next time.

Next, I turned to M51, which was also in the north.  The subs looked promising, and when I stacked them…HOLY COW.  It came out AMAZING!!  You can see the colors, and some amazing structure!  I couldn’t believe it!  This one is just 33x30 sec, ISO-3200.
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy, Nikon D3100 on my C11, f/6.3 focal reducer
28x30s, ISO-3200

I had to throw out quite a few subs due to the wind bumping the camera mid-photo, but clearly I don’t need a zillion anymore, thanks especially to the focal reducer, probably.  I can’t wait to see what else I can do!

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