Playing Catch-Up

A few weeks ago my neighbor was commenting that he hadn’t seen anything new on my site for a while. ¬†Sadly, I’ve mostly been posting to astrophotography forums on Facebook and completely neglecting what I deem my primary personal repository for higher quality images. ¬†So here goes.

Messier 103 November 23, 2016 from Allen, TX

Messier 103 November 23, 2016 from Allen, TX

Messier 45 - Pleiades Allen, TX Nov 19 and 20, 2016

Messier 45 – Pleiades
Allen, TX Nov 19 and 20, 2016

Messier 27 - Dumbell Nebula August 3, 2016

Messier 27 – Dumbell Nebula
August 3, 2016

Our nearest galactic neighbor

I never thought I’d be able to pull this out of the soup we call urban light pollution but I did manage it. ¬† There was significant effort put into it and I know there is much more detail that could be gathered but this is what I’ve got. ¬†A touch over 5 hours of data collected on two nights while M31 was near zenith and well before sunrise. ¬†Taken with the aid of Sequence Generator Pro automation software, PHD2 autoguiding, DeepSkyStacker, Nebulosity 4, and a little GIMP thrown in for good measure. ¬†This is probably a decent way to contribute to my addiction.


Taken on my Celestron Advanced VX + EdgeHD 8″. ¬†Camera is a QHY 8L running at -15C.

105 subexposures of 180 seconds

Taken from my back yard in Allen, Texas.



M42/M43, then and now

A friend of mine, Kush, has recently discovered the addiction know as astrophotography. ¬† He posted a picture of M42/M43 that made me think of my first images of that target and how I’ve progressed since then. ¬† Here we go!


Circa 2004:

Meade SN6

Meade DSI Pro (Mono camera, LRGB filters)



Dec 30, 2008:
Meade SN6

Canon EOS Rebel (300D)



Jan 20, 2013

Meade SN6

Canon 20D (I think)

The Great Orion Nebula


Dec 16, 2016

Celestron EdgeHD8 (0.7x Focal Reducer)

Orion StarShoot Pro CCD (Color)


M13 – Hercules Cluster

Short and sweet while waiting for M27 to transit.



14 x 2min

EdgeHD 8″


0.7x Focal Reducer

Hutech IDAS-LPS light pollution filter (with diminishing returns now that wideband LED street lamps are becoming popular)

Messier 27 – some good data FINALLY!

FINALLY got some good data on the Dumbell Nebula (Messier 27). The last few days have been clear and calm-ish but at night it has still been pretty turbulent. I intended to just knock the cobwebs out since I haven’t been able to use the scope for a few months and the first few nights were exactly that. Setup was straight forward, do some ancient photon collection, take the glass and silicon inside in the morning. Wash, rinse, repeat. Last night I was going to take the whole thing down and get a good night’s sleep but it was close to calm all day so I held off until after sunset to check conditions. I’ve seen better but it has generally been much, much worse. Throwing caution to the wind I set the glass back out on the mount, wasted time until my target got where I wanted it and set the software in motion. I knew it could run all night so I turned in. I checked the data this morning and I was very excited about the quality I was seeing. This is the result of 4 hours of exposure time and several pieces of very clever software.




Celestron Advanced VX
Celestron EdgeHD 8″

QHY 8L cooled CCD @ -15C
Hutech IDAS-LPR light pollution filter

48 subframes of 5 minutes

M57 revisited

I tend to not enjoy going out in the summer thanks to the mass of biting insects, hot and sweaty conditions and a multitude of other things.  Unfortunately some of my favorite objects are out in the summer months.   M57 is one of them.   Easily seen in modest telescopes this small but bright nebula really sparkles in the northern summer sky.



A Rosette by any other name . . .

Caldwell 49 is one of the objects in my catalog of images that I’ve wanted to capture for a good long while. ¬†It is absolutely massive and generally lends itself well to grab and go wide field imaging. ¬†Polar alignment is less critical than at high f/ratio and field rotation is thus less obvious. ¬†I still strive for zero rotation and translation and in this case I got that. ¬†I only got to capture 35 minutes of data before it disappeared behind a tree so there is still much to be desired. ¬†Another attempt at this will be made next year.

Caldwell 49 2016-03-13

Caldwell 49

7 x 5 minutes

Celestron Advanced VX mount

AstroTech AT65EDQ APO quadruplet

Orion StarShoot Pro v2 CCD


Site: Albany, Texas – Fort Griffin State Historic Site – 2016/03/13

(C) 2016 Tim Schuh