Last night was our first clear moonless night in a while so a few buddies and I took advantage of the conditions and headed to a location in the Mojave National Preserve that is about 25 miles outside of Baker, CA
Conditions were excellent and my SQM
-L meter gave an overhead reading of 21.35. I'm not sure what that converts to on the Bortle
scale but we all seemed to agree that it was a strong Bortle
2 sky. To the northeast, over 70 miles away, we could still see the lights of Las Vegas, NV, and the same with Barstow, CA
, 70 miles to the west of our location.
I started out capturing 15 minutes of 60second subs for each of the LRGB channels and then proceeded to capture 200 minutes of Ha
data with 5-minute subs. Finally, I started the OIII channel and managed to capture 65 minutes worth of 5-minute subs before my target reach 20°above the horizon and I called it quits for the morning around 1:30 am. That nearly 2-hour drive home is a killer after a long day of projects around the house followed by a long evening of imaging.
I'm hoping to get some more dark time in and add another hour or two of OIII data and see if there's any SII data in this target as well.
Explore Scientific ED127mm refractor with .7x reducer/corrector = 652mm f5.25
ASI ZWO1600mm camera - Gain 139: Offset 10: cooling to -10°
NINA capture software handled everything like a champ, framing, guiding, auto-focusing, Meridian
Processed in Astro Pixel Processor and PhotoShopCC.
I am not a good post-processor and have little desire or tolerance to learn PixInsight. Processing took me 15 minutes. I'm planning on giving the individual masters for the channels to my buddy that is a PixInsight guru and let him have a go at the data to see what he comes up with. I'll post his results, which I'm absolutely positive will be much better than mine, later on in this same post. I'm still not happy with the green stars...
Meade 12" GPS SCT, Classic Orange-Tube C-8, Explore Scientific 127mm ED, StellarVue SV70T, Explore Scientific 152mm, Edmund Astroscan, CGX Mount, iOptron ZEQ25 Mount, Lunt 80mm Ha single-stack solar scope.