My First Shot

M42 2-16-05 1

This was my first attempt at a Deep Space Object taken all the way back in 2005. You might be able to make out that it’s M42, the Great Orion Nebula… the core of it at least. Having only used point and shoot cameras my entire life, I didn’t realize the importance of manually focusing using the Meade DSI camera and the scope’s focus. I also lacked any understanding of field of view. I think these were 4×5 second exposures.

In my tendency to rush into things and expect instant results, I didn’t take the time to really understand all the pieces involved in taking a quality Astrophoto. There are quite a few moving pieces involved. Click here for a quick overview of how software pulls everything together, and here to see my setup checklist.

Shortly after taking this image, we moved to a third floor walk-up, and the OTA never saw the night sky again due to a flood years later. The DSI worked for a little bit when I tested it in 2017, but decided to retire as soon as I was about to use it as a guide camera.

Below is a combined 5 hour and 53 minute shot of the same object taken over several nights in the fall of 2017. It’s in desperate need of a coma corrector, and was taken before I started dithering, but I’m happy with the progress made in just a couple months. Hoping for some clear weather to start this object fresh applying the things I’ve learned, and that coma corrector.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Clear Skies

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