This was a trial run in preparation for collecting, as weather permits, data sets of the object with LRGB and H-alpha filters plus multiple reduced exposure times to have a look at HDR and try to retrieve the Trapezium.
- Equipment used - Altair 66ED refractor, Celestron AVX mount, Planostar 0.8x flattener/reducer, Altair 314E CCD camera.
- Setup - polar align with polar scope, 2 alignment stars + 4 calibration stars, Celestron mount's All Star Polar Align, focus with Bahtinov Mask, unguided. FITS Liberator to inspect test frames prior to imaging run.
- Software - Sharpcap 3.2 for capture, Siril to calibrate, register, stack, apply histogram transformation. Nebulosity for final post processing - crop, adjust black point, apply contrast (a single click in Curves). The stacking and processing took around 15 minutes.
- 30x90s, 10 darks, 60 bias, 60 flats.
Once again I have noticed that the acquisition of better data results in a much reduced post-processing effort. For the next imaging runs, I think I can squeeze in more of M42 by not having M43 as the centre of the image. Also in post-processing I could apply Nebulosity's Morphological Tightening of Stars.
A satisfying result from a camera which is approximately 10 year old technology and purchased off eBay for £300.
Output Format=FITS files (*.fits)
Frame Rate Limit=Maximum
Heat Sink Temperature=0
Display Black Point=0
Display MidTone Point=0.5
Display White Point=1