A fellow astro-imager and I decided to head out to the club observatory for a little photon capturing. As the Sun set we got to work setting up our gear. For a change, the conditions were near perfect – clear skies, great seeing and since it was fall, no bugs!
After aligning everything we sat around waiting for the end of twilight. This was a night were I planned on experimenting with AstroTortilla and Backyard EOS. I’ve been working on a mosaic tool that will rely on precisely centering a target before moving the scope for each frame in the mosaic. Since I’ve never needed that level of accuracy before, I took a few minutes to test the setup. After a little tweaking the results were impressive with precise centering of the target. More on the mosaic tool in a future post once I get more of the software up and running.
With the AstroTortilla experiment out of the way and darkness settling in, it was time to move the scope over to my target for the evening – NGC891. For those not familiar with this galaxy it is the usual faint smudge visually, but photographically it is an edge on spiral with a nicely detailed dust lane 27 million light years distant. Here is a crop of the image made from eight, ten minute subs. Masked stretches were used to help control star bloat and mask noise reduction was used to quiet down any background noise.
The feature mask tool in Images Plus makes it easy to generate the starless masks and its RL deconvolution tool was used to sharpen the detail in the dust lane.