Thursday, January 2, 2014

Deep Sky Imaging Session - December 28-29, 2013

I went with several members of ALP to Caliraya last December 28th to do this year's last deep sky imaging session in the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna. I brought along my TV-101 refractor as well as my portable Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens mounted on Vixen GP-DX mount and autoguided by ZWO ASI120MM webcam with Canon EOS 500D and ATIK 16HR CCD camera as my main imaging cameras. The first night was very good sky but unfortunately the wind was so strong that most of my images were ruined by it :( I had to cancel my CCD imaging that night and concentrate only in imaging with my Canon EOS 500D DSLR on TV-101 refractor. I managed to image NGC2244 Rosette Nebula that evening and only get 3 ok frames out of several frames :( I also try to image wide angle on the Winter Hexagonal Asterism which was already setting in the western horizon :0 Sigh! I also got into trouble with my Canon EF 100-400mm lens that evening when the focus lock ring came loose thus I couldn't lock the lens on my desired focal length/ I also got into trouble with my autoguider as it too seems not to cooperate as well that night. Overall, it was a very disheartening as the sky was clear most of the night :( I just had to call it a night and dismantle my setup due to frustration. In the morning, some of my colleagues decided to go home after 1 night session because of other priorities for the day. That left me and my astro son KC as well as fellow ALP imager Mike Enage to proceed to 2nd straight imaging session. The second night is partly cloudy in the early evening but at around 11:00pm till 4:00am, the sky is good as well as moderate winds only so its now possible to do longer exposure imaging. Temperature in the evening goes down to 18 deg C. I use my TV-101 refractor with Canon EOS 500D DSLR and TV-101 refractor to image NGC2244 Rosette Nebula in Monoceros as well as use the camera to do some wide field imaging on Vixen Polarie Mount. I also got to do a 1.5 hours LRGB total exposure on the eerie IC2118 Witch Head Nebula in Eridanus using the ATK-16HR CCD camera. With the cool weather, CCD temperature during the imaging session was -7 deg C . Overall, it was worth the 2 night Caliraya imaging session :)

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