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Started by Joe Bruessow, 10/12/2002 12:35PM
Posted 10/12/2002 12:35PM Opening Post
Well, I have taken the plunge into CCD imaging. I've been into visual astronomy for many years but have always been intrigued by CCD's. I have had a 12" LX200 for a few years and finally decided to give imaging a try. Last winter I purchased a $50 webcam and got some great images of the gas giants. Then I bought Ron Wodaski's book and realized that I am now knowledgeable enough about this technology to give it a try.

So, this past month I sold a couple of small scopes and bought a used ST7 non-E imager and a used Optec Maxfield f/3.3 reducer. This seems like a pretty good beginner set up with the equipment I have. I have attached the first of my images which is a 4 minute unguided exposure of NGC 891 I took last night (through a #8 yellow filter to reduce chromatic abberation introduced by the reducer). I want to learn how to get a respectable black and white image before even considering looking ahead to LRGB. Your tips for how to enhance this image would be greatly appreciated.

Second, a technical problem with my camera/ software (CCDsoft version 5). I can take fine unguided pics with the main CCD... but when I attempt to image with the guider chip in order to callibrate and autoguide the shutter does not appear to stay open. If I set the exposure to say 10 seconds the shutter dialogue box in CCD soft shows the shutter opening for perhaps a tenth of a second then shows it closed for the rest of the exposure and the resulting image looks like a dark frame with hot pixels. Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong? I do click/ select the guider chip before the exposure... but am I supposed to do something else? Thanks!

Attached Image:

Joe Bruessow's attachment for post 1905
Posted 10/12/2002 03:01PM #1
That cracks me up. You have got to love an LX200 when it is working well. You decide to try imaging and start off with NGC891. I spent two hours last night at our club's observatory while three of us searched for NGC 891 in the 16" Ealing scope. No luck. Who says goto isn't worth while?

Paul McCarl