For some totally unknown reason I don’t think I’ve published the latest (stable?) incarnation of the MiniWASP array. So here it is!
The lower section of the MiniWASP (the black Aluminium box housing) contains 3 x Sky90s and top right is an 80mm guide scope with Lodestar camera. All 3 Sky90s have the f#4.5 reducer-corrector and the cameras are SX Trius26C OSC CCDs.
On the top of the frame there are 2 x Canon 200mm prime lenses with ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS cameras on the back. There is a USB controlled auto-focuser on each lens which makes imaging with this part of the system a complete doddle. Between the 200mm lenses is a 60mm Altair finder-scope with a webcam fitted on the back.
A couple of nights ago I managed to get 4-hours of 20-minute subs on the 200mm lenses with the ASI 2600MC Pro OSC CMOS cameras and the Optolong L-Enhance filters. I added this data to an earlier 3 hours and 20-minutes of unfiltered data to get the above result.
A beautiful clear evening (but with a bright Moon overhead) so that meant star imaging only. There, low on the southern horizon was beautiful Sirius blazing away – so that was the target! Managed to get 22 x 2-minute subs using the Canon 200mm prime lenses and the ASI 2600MC Pro OSC CMOS cameras. EXTREMELY pleased with the result.
Out of all my bright, single star images, I think this one is my favourite. Sirius – the brightest star in the sky. Two-frame (vertical) mosaic with camera in landscape mode. 3 x Sky90 refractors and 3 x M26C (non-Trius) OSC CCD cameras. Each frame is 90-minutes of 2-minute subs (so that’s actually 270-minutes of actual exposure time per frame).
The star reduction does a great job in bringing out the nebulosity in the Pleiades region.
There is a LOT more to the California nebula than you usually see in the posted images. This is 24 x 20-minute subs taken with the Canon 200mm prime lenses, ASI 2600MC Pro OSC CMOS cameras, and the Optolong L-Enhance filters. Notice the long “nose” which is usually absent on images of this one. I wonder how much more I can get out of this one by getting more subs?
The Horsehead nebula and the Belt Stars of Orion region. This is a 2-frame mosaic using a single Sky90 and a single M25C OSC CCD. H-alpha and OIII data was also included. Imaging time around 4-hours (or more) per frame. This version is with the star reduction app that works with Russ Croman’s StarXTerminator.
I recently downloaded the free evaluation copy of Russ Croman’s StarXTerminator program – which basically does what it says on the tin. I also saw a recent James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on APOD and was once again flabbergasted at the absolutely dreadful EIGHT diffraction spikes around bright stars. So I thought I would try an experiment and see what StarXTerminator would do on a JWST image. I was expecting StarXTerminator to do a good job on removing stars but I was expecting it to leave a lot of the diffraction spikes behind. In the images above you can actually see what happened. StarXTerminator did an absolutely superb job on removing both stars AND diffraction spikes. A quick run of “Despeckle” in Photoshop really cleaned up the background and the “Spot Healing Brush” tool cleared up a couple of stragglers. I really think Russ should be in serious discussion with NASA on how to clean up their JWST images.
In order to show that the “dust” in the widefield Altair image really is tens of thousands of stars – I cropped the image in to Altair to show the enormous density of stars in this region. And yes – you’ve guessed it – this area lies within the Milky Way.
Just a couple of nights ago I managed to get a 2-framer on the Altair/Barnard’s “E” region in Aquila on the Canon 200mm prime lenses and the ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS cameras. Each frame is 5-hours of 10-minute exposures, so this is a 10-hour image in all.