This is the third processed image from my trip to Namibia, probably the best one of the entire set, since it has the most data: almost three half nights of "gross time", but barely 4 hours after discarding bad frames.

Lagoon and Trifida nebulae

To the right, you can see the big and gorgeous Lagoon nebula. On the left side, the much smaller, but still nice and interesting (and more coloured) Trifid Nebula.

They're both also known respectively as M 8 and M 20, from the Messier catalogue.

Technical data: Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

Another update from my trip to Namibia. Here's a second processed image, the Tarantula Nebula, this time inside the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Tarantula Nebula

This is a star forming region, very similar to the famous Orion Nebula that we can see from our latitudes, only this is way bigger. If the Tarantula Nebula was as close to us as the Orion Nebula it would even cast a visible shadow.

Technical data: Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

After long planning me and Alessia finally went to Namibia, under one of the darkest sky on the planet, with the main intent of a fully astronomical holiday. The trip was exausting, and I've barely started processing images. Here's a first image:

Small Magellanic Cloud

It's a zoomed detail of the Small Magellanic cloud, one of the two dwarf companion galaxies of our Milky Way.

Technical data:
Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

This is the first of a series of articles. As I'm always experimenting and tuning my setup, I'm not sure how many more articles I'll be writing.

A few years ago I began to introduce myself to astrophotography. I had some fairly nice equipment back then: a SkyWatcher HEQ5 mount, a Meade ACF 8", guide scope and camera, a borrowed reflex, laptop, 12v car battery.

Although this is pretty much entry level equipment, barely sufficient to getting started, it had been already quite expensive (almost 2000€ just for scope and mount, even though the scope was second hand), bulky and heavy. I ended up barely using it, both because of a relatively steep learning curve and because I honestly was getting tired of carrying around 20/30KG of equipment with barely any tangible result.

Then a few things happened: the mount was stolen, I sold the optical tube, and ended up moving to London, where I embraced a new "astronomical philosophy": the lighter, the better.

Continue reading...

I'm currently living in a house with a very nice backyard, right outside London. Still a lot of light pollution, but it can be manageable, and useful for testing my equipment before running to darker locations.

This was meant to be a (L)RGB shot, but light pollution and humidity made the blue and green channels pretty useless, while red channel produced quite good results

Last friday night the sky was finally very clear, so I made a few shots.

M 42, HorseHead, Flame Nebula

The brilliant Orion Nebula (M42) is very well defined, but also the Flame nebula (NGC 2024) is quite conspicuous on the left. And very close to the Flame nebula, a tiny Horsehead nebula can be spotted too.

For being just a test shot, I must say I'm very happy with the result, and can't wait for better conditions to try RGB.