Thursday, December 29, 2016 12:30:54 AM UTC

Property Value
Subframes 71
Exposure Time 300
Exposure ISO 800
Telescope Meade LX200 Classic 8" F/10 203mm f/10
Imager Canon EOS 1100D
Eyepiece Meade F/6.3 Focal Reducer 0.63x
Plate Solve Status Solve Requested Solve Submitted Solve Completed Solve Retrieved
Original image dimensions 0 W 0 H
Solved image center point 2h22m33.75s 42°20'53.81"

As a little Christmas treat for myself, I bagged a new ZWO 90mm guide/finder 'scope.  This has replaced the mounting rails and rings and 80mm Orion guide scope I was using, along with the standard Meade finderscope (for which the crosshairs were knackered and parts of the body melted due to naughty solar behaviour by myself).  To say this has improved the guiding performance of the rig would be a significant understatement - it's smaller, lighter, more rigid and has performed so well that I really feel it's going to take my imaging to the next level.  As a first-light test, I thought I'd go for an object which I've imaged before and never been 100% happy with - NGC891, that lovely picturebook edge-on spiral which always seems to be in the shadow of the Andromeda and Pinwheel galaxies, which are close by in the night sky.

While this is a rough process of the 71 5-minute subs I managed to get tonight, I think it's a pretty amazing image.  The stars were consistently sharper and rounder with this configuration, and it matches the ASI120MM camera I'm using for guiding with PHD2.  Really happy with the definition, but there's still some noise (and a couple of dust donuts) to process out, but I'll do that in the morning.  I'll also be doing a write-up of the ZWO guidescope.  For less than £100, I'm very pleased with this addition to the armoury!