Astro Blog

Jose Bellas's Astronomy Blog.

First light at the Praying Mantis Observatory.

Immediately following the successful relocation of our observatory to its new home at Stellar Skies we began gathering data on some deep sky objects.

For the first week we put the observatory through its paces running it from sunset to sunrise without any breaks. Fortunately for us the weather that first week was excellent and it allowed us to perform all our testing and do some marathon style imaging too.

I recently found the time to process the three objects we started on the first night of imaging. We slowly added time to these objects (and others) as the week progressed.

Here are our images from "first light":

M 31 - The Great Andromeda Galaxy

NGC 7000 and IC 5070 - The North American Nebula and The Pelican Nebula

M 78 - A Reflection Nebula in Orion

The integration time for M 31 was 8 hours and 45 minutes (21x300s RGB and 21x600s L).

The integration time for NGC 7000 and IC 5070 was 7 hours and 30 minutes (18x300s RGB and 18x600s L).

The Integration time for M 78 was 3 hours (6x300s RGB and 9x600s L).

The imaging equipment at the observatory is as follows:

Mount:            Takahashi EM-200
Telescope:      Takahashi FSQ-106N
Focuser:          FLI Atlas
Camera:           FLI Proline 11002
Filters:              Baader
Filter Wheel:    FLI CFW 5-7
Guidescope:    Borg Mini50
Guider:             Starlight Xpress Lodestar

Jim and I are very happy with how the observatory is performing and looking forward to gathering lots of data on all of our favorite objects.

As it stands I have a backlog of data just waiting to be processed so there's sure to be more blog posts in my future. :-)

Thanks for looking.