Tuesday, April 9, 2019

At last...got it! The Running Chicken Nebulae IC2944

My primary target last Saturday night. This was the main reason why I had to go to Caliraya Lake. This nebula was so low in the southern sky that an excellent image acquisition is next to impossible at least for me. However, it was the difficulty of shooting this object coupled with the unpredictability of Caliraya skies that actually piqued my interest in it.

By the way, I mistakenly assumed that the nebula would fit into my scope's field of view. However, it was too big. I should have used my 200mm lens. Anyway, aesthetics is definitely not the reason for selecting this nebula. It was more of a self-imposed challenge it if was possible to shoot it at Caliraya. Well, after the acquisition and processing I can say to myself..Yup, I got it!

It's not too late...yet. M78

It is already spring and it is late to shoot the winter objects so why was my scope pointing at Orion? Well, I thought that by shooting the relatively bright reflection nebula M78, my chance of success of getting at least one object that night was higher. Caliraya was not anymore conducive for astro imaging like before. The site was filled with cottages and of course, people. I missed the time back then when it was really dark, quiet, with only couple of carabaos silently grazing across the field. But last Saturday was a treat! We got an almost cloudless night sky. I never expected that it will be that clear. So, I was back in setting up my gears, fumbling with the camera and adapters, and messing up the polar alignment! M78 was not my intended target that night but the Running Chicken nebulae in Centaurus. Since it was not yet up in early evening, i opted for the setting M78 in the west.  Time was my not on my side as i felt that the nebulae was speeding up towards the western horizon faster that usual. It was time to quit M78 when light pollution engulfed Orion near the western horizon. I looked at he southern horizon and glanced at the battery indicator. Yup, there's still plenty of battery juice for the Running Chicken which was about to rise.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

M101 and friends

Wow! After a very looooong hiatus from any astro activity, I couldn't be more thankful that I had an opportunity to go out and return to astro-imaging. Even though my gears are not suitable for galaxies and small objects, I tried to visit my old favorite Pinwheel Galaxy. No planning, no messy set-up, just shoot and go. It was a pleasure enough for me to go to a dark site, bring out my gears and shoot whatever there is. The cloudless night sky was worth the back-breaking ordeal of bringing up my gears to the hilltop. Polaris was difficult to find against the full grown trees and I had to find a good spot to do a good polar alignment. I tried shooting luminance frames of M78 while waiting for M101 to rise above the treetops. Past midnight, the pinwheel galaxy was already well placed and I got 60 minutes worth of luminance and 15 minutes each of color frames. It was a no surprise that I forgot how to process the frames after several years of no-astro activity. I had to refresh myself of the processing techniques and procedures. So, this image is more of an experiment in jolting my memory in astro-processing!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Another AAPOD! (my sixth time)

I was pleasantly surprised again to receive the wonderful news that my Simeis 147 image was selected as AAPOD for March 22. This is my sixth and hopefully not the last!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Astro Season 2016!

I promised myself that I will be more active in posting my astro related activities this year. To start the season, I, together with hardcore astro buddies went to our favorite site in Buso-buso, Antipolo City to attempt some astro imaging. There was no particular object in mind that I liked to image. However, a few unfinished H-alpha images from last year needed color data so I reckoned that that's what I would do. Fist was IC59/63 followed by Simeis 147. I had to struggle with the positioning of my filter wheel as I could not frame objects as I would like them to be. Oh, and the trees have grown tall already! I had to reposition the whole astro imaging rig five times just to clear the obstructing branches and leaves. In spite of all of the challenges, the night was sweet as the skies were mostly clear. I just had to take an image of Comet Catalina in the northern sky before packing up.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Astro season quickly passed away! SH2-129

I was too busy travelling since the start of the year that I had no time to do serious imaging. My list of objects-to-image hardly gets read. The scope and camera were not removed from their cases, batteries were drained, and dust accumulated on the mount. Until last week. . . The sight of Polaris peeking through the clouds gave me enough enthusiasm to set up my gears and waited for Cepheus to rise up in the northern sky. Whew!.. I almost never remembered how to do the usual set-up after in hiatus for half-year. Eventually, things worked out and the sky cleared up long enough for me to accumulate a couple of hours worth of images in hydrogen-alpha. Can't wait for the next season to get the color data!

5th AAPOD! - Elephant's Trunk Nebula Widefield

This image was taken in Caliraya last year. I was with my family and friends and had a great time. Wish I can go back again and enjoy the night view. And fishing. . .