Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Imager and Pix

Yesterday, I received my new Mallincam Jr Pro. As whoever controls the weather seems to have been asleep, the weather was clear last night. I made some quick adjustments, added a .5x focal reducer and skyglow filter, and attached the camera to the scope.  Here is the first thing I saw:

This image is a pic captured with my iphone off the small (and rather low-quality) monitor mounted on the scope. It is a 3-second integration and yet the colors are clearly visible, as is the 14.7 magnitude central star! This is all the more impressive as there was a full moon last night and a hazy sky.

One issue I had with the camera is that I was unable to achieve long integrations. When I programmed for, say, a 30-second exposure, the remote controls did appear to be performing the exposure, but the camera continued to update every 3 seconds. With a longer exposure, even more vivid color and structure would be visible.

Here's a pic of the camera itself. It's a beautiful piece of work hand-built and signed by Rock Mallin himself. The only problem is that the supplier I bought it from (not the US supplier) sent the wrong camera. I had ordered one with the enhanced imaging ship but they shipped the standard model by mistake. I returned the above camera today and I'm hoping it won't be too long until the new one is shipped. As we have about a week of rain ahead, I'm not too disappointed!

Here are a couple more images I took last night:

M13 is always gorgeous and even a 3-second exposure shows lots of stars.

The Dumbell Nebula is one of my favorite objects and, like the Ring Nebula, is well-placed for observation at this time of year.  A 3-second exposure is much too short for this object, but the image above still shows significant color and detail (the image on the screen was significantly better than this capture).

All in all, I'm looking forward to using this little camera as an adjunct to my CCD imaging. I recommend it highly to anyone who does public outreach, or who just wants to see color images of DSOs in record time!