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B33 - 'Lunacy' under a full moon, 


            Tom Gray

B33 - 'Lunacy' under a full moon

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade 2080 SCT 8" LX5

Imaging cameras: Meade DSI 3 Pro

Mounts: Meade Fork mount w/wedge Meade

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Meade 8x50mm Finder/Guider

Guiding cameras: Orion Starshoot autoguider

Software: SiliconFields / Ivo Jager StarTools v1.6  ·  Stark Labs Nebulosity v3  ·  PHD2 Guiding V 2.6  ·  Meade Envisage V4.05

Filters: Optolong L-eNhance 1.25"

Accessory: Homemade ST4 autoguider

Dates:Dec. 31, 2020

Frames: 72x120" (2h 24')

Integration: 2h 24'

Avg. Moon age: 16.07 days

Avg. Moon phase: 98.07%

Basic astrometry details job: 4124176

Resolution: 494x665

Locations: Home 'observatory' (Bortle 5), Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Data source: Backyard


At full moon we sometimes do strange trying to image a DSO, which can be difficult at the best of times. I'm amazed by narrowband, and have posted many times how my Optolong L-eNhance filter allows me to image even under a full moon!

Clearly, there are limitations, and despite keeping exposures short at 120s, and using 2x2 binning to boost SNR, there is a lot of noise! I tried to reduce this by combining 12 x 300s exposures, which certainly helped, but I found the gradients impossible to remove. I expect the OIII is introducing these, and using a dedicated Halpha filter would help. Perhaps processing the exposures separately and then layering would also work.

Far from my best, it is my final image of 2020; I wanted to post it partly as a record of my journey over the past year, and to acknowledge the encouragement, help and support I have received from so many other imagers around the world.

Let's hope 2021 is better for us all, as we adapt to a new normal. I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year and clear skies.