Saturday, January 25, 2020

Holiday Stars

After having my 8" telescope stolen about 4 years ago and finally replacing it several months back over the Holidays I had first light with the new telescope and all went okay. We took a road trip to the Grand Canyon stopping in Joshua Tree on the way there and back for some Holiday dark skies. Well at least dark compared to SF -:]

Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula(NGC 2024)
My first real target (M42 is always my goto test) was the Horse Head Nebula which I have been trying to get a better shot of for years. This is actually combine images from two nights but half of the time was from first light night.

Horse Head, Flame and M42
I also setup my very portable Red Cat rig for a wide field shot of M42 and the Horse Head together. I am super excited about the results I get with my Red Cat on a Move Shoot Move star tracker. The whole setup easily fits in a small backpack with a little room to spare. For sure my travel setup going forward.

Sombrero Galaxy (M104)
On the first night before breaking down the scope I thought I would try getting some images of the Sombrero Nebula. Probably the best image of the Sombrero I have taken yet even though I only spent a little time imaging it.

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)
And on the 2nd night in Joshua Tree again before breaking down I turn the scope to M51 for a little bit. Again I think this is probably my best image of M101 yet mostly due to the dark skies in Joshua Tree.

Now I just need to make more time to get back out under some clear skies!

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