Helix Nebula with Astrotac – New Mexico

Date: 9/12/2010

Location: Abiquiu, New Mexico,

The month of December is definitely not great for astronomy given the clouds / rain – so I am taking the occasion to process and post shots I took in September in New Mexico,

These two pictures from the Helix nebula were taken with respectively my Canon 200mm Teleobjective, and Takahashi FS-60C, both having very fine optics.

Both were done on my Astrotrac Travel system mount (unguided). Star were slightly elongated because of poor polar alignment,  and I tried to fix it as much as possible using Photoshop and  techniques described in the excellent book “The New Astro Zone System for Astro Imaging” by R.Wodaski and R.Croman.

9 exposures of  3 minutes – Modified Canon XTi and 200mm Teleobjective at f/d 3.5

Interesting to see the comparison there.  Since shots were  unguided I was limited to a short exposures especially with the FS-60C.  The picture taken with the FS-60C is definitely more detailed – stars are “tight” but  colors are not captured as nicely as with the Teleobjective open at f/d 3.5 because of the short sub-frame duration.

Even though more pictures were stacked with the FS60, still the short F/D ratio of the Canon Teleobjective makes the difference when capturing colors from green to yellow to red in this great planetary nebula.

34 exposures of 1 minutes on Takahashi FS-60C  at f/d 5.9 – Modified Canon XTi rebel
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