First Light For A New Toy

I’ve been promising myself I’d do it for ages, and have now finally done it – bought a “proper” CCD for taking pictures. I now have an Atik 314L+, and last night had the first opportunity of trying it out. These pictures are both simply monochrome images taken without a filter through the ED80, but I do have the filter wheel and LRGB filters, along with a hydrogen alpha filter to try out once I get the power supplies sorted out!

First up is another attempt at M101. This is a stack of 30 x 3min exposures , and it looks like it could usefully do with a lot more. One of the things I did notice about the camera was its sensitivity – while focusing and positining the image in the centre of the chip, it was possible to see where the galaxy was with just a two second exposure. Although there was no detail visible, it definitely wasn’t starlike. So it looks like framing objects should be a breeze!

Just to round the evening off, I had a quick go at M3, which was nicely positioned. This is a stack of just 9 x 2min exposures, and confirms what a bright object this is. The next thing is to have a go at adding some colour into these – lots of opportunities for experimentation!!

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