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Horsehead and Flame Nebulae

Horsehead nebula deep sky

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae

Here is my 'first light' attempt with my new SBIG STT 8300M with FW8 - the Horsehead (Barnard 33) and Flame (NGC 2024) nebulas taken from Redshift Observatory in southern New Mexico on December 1, 2012. It was nearly a full moon but otherwise the skies were clear and It was COLD. This is my first monochrome RGB camera and I was on the learning curve throughout this imaging session. The camera has a self-guiding smaller camera in front of the filter wheel - new experience for me. I thought I was self-guiding but found out later that I had not activated the guide camera. So this was plain vanilla tracking but on a good mount (AP1200GTO). Because this was my maiden vayage with the camera, I limited my exposure time to 180 seconds per frame. Also, the moon was too bright to expose for very long. I took seven R-G-B exposures plus darks using CCDOPs as my capture software. I would have taken more but the heater in my observatory crapped out and it was only an hour or so away from sunrise (sky glow was changing). The scope was my WO 132mm f/7 refractor. I used CCDOPs for RGB combine and Photoshop for rudimentary processing.

    • daveco and duskchaser like this

    I forgot to add an equipment category - probably B or lower C.

    Beautiful shot Robert - my favourite object - you're lucky to have such a well placed obsy that we can only envy here in England. :)

    Thank you for your kind words. I do realize my good fortune although I am only able to be there 4 or 5 times a year at this point (until I can retire). My primary home is in Houston, Texas which, most of the time, does not have the kind of skies to catch this object (or any other, for that matter).

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