Cold Night Imaging in Bright Moonlight

B33-Ha-Stacked-and-alignedIt was a cold -18 last night, but the first clear night in ages, so I bundled up and went out to the observatory to do some imaging. With a nearly full moon, narrowband imaging was the best option since it is nearly immune to light pollution, so I set up a nice frame of the Barnard 33 (Horse head nebula) and NGC2024 (Flame nebula) area and took 1.5 hours of exposure in Hydrogen Alpha light.

I’m very pleased with this result, considering the conditions.  I plan to add colour later when skies permit, and use this H-Alpha either as luminance or to supplement the Red.

The exposure would have been slightly longer but I bumped my head on the scope during the last 15-minute subexposure, ruining it.  Serves me right.  I also got an error message from the Gemini system right at the end of my session (“motor stalled”), and must investigate that during daylight.  I’m guessing that the cold made things stick enough that the motor got tired when I started slewing around the sky after the main session.  I’ll do a motor health check in the next day or so, in daylight.

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