Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Light 152mm VRC Mallincam Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph/ZEQ25 -- 12.20.2016

For the first time in months, we had clear skies and passable temperatures last night (20 degrees F!). I was finally able to take out my "Christmas Prezzie" of a 152mm Mallincam VRC and iOptron ZEQ25 mount. The pix below were captured with a Mallincam DSm, Orion focal reducer and a skyglow filter. Imaging was complicated by the fact that the gibbous moon was in the same area of the sky I was imaging (the Orion Nebula region).  While the moom washed out such faint objects as the Horsehead Nebula and the Flame Nebula, the Great Nebula itself was bright and prominent. These two images were captured with 5- and 10-second integrations with no dark frame processing. I adjusted the histogram for each in Photoshop.

The long exposure image really pulled out nebula detail; the VRC is a really high-contrast scope! The FOV enabled me to capture the main nebula and DeMairan's nebula, too (at approx. 6 o'clock position). All in-all, this is a great, compact, and inexpensive combination that enables you to get really great astro images!