Finally! My QHY 163m camera is back and I can image narrowband again. One of the images that first inspired me to take up astrophotography was of IC 443, The Jellyfish nebula. A friend showed me one he took last winter and it blew me away – I had never seen such detail (I was unaware of narrowband filters at that time) and I knew I wanted to be able to image such targets too.
Roll on 12 months, and I have the equipment and the target is finally back in the sky. The weather this month has been pretty poor so the first opportunity I had to gather data last Friday – the only problem; the moon was just past full moon!
I plate solved on the image the night before to make sure the mount was calibrated and polar aligned. On Friday, then, I started imaging around 1830 and managed 7 hours before the clouds started rolling over. The Ha and S2 data is strong however the O3 is really weak. I assumed, at first, that there wasn’t much O3 data on IC 443, however it looks like I need more integration time, and at a darker time of the moon’s phase. Hopefully, in two week, I get a window of decent weather.
Ha 30 x 300 secs
O3 21 x 300 secs
S2 37 x 300 secs
20 darks, 20 flats.