SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!


NGC 7293 (Helix Nebula [test shot])

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Image Details:

Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
Scope: TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: Astrodon Hα OIII 6nm Filters
Effective Focal Length: 1200mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.9
Exposure: {1 Hα, 1 OIII} × 16min @ -20°C
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 32min
Date: 12/5/2007 6:46 PM PST (Start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCDSoft
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: Self Guided


  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Dust and Scratches, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is a test shot of NGC 7293, aka, the “Helix Nebula”, a planetary nebula in the constellation of Aquarius. This is First Light for my new TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor and my new Astro-Physics (AP) 1200GTO German Equatorial Mount. I snuck in these two exposures, one each of my Hα and OIII, before the clouds wiped me out. I didn't even bother to really nail the focus, which I think I missed slightly. Nonetheless, I found the shot interesting enough to post. This is a pseudo-“True Color” image, with R:G:B = Hα:OIII:OIII. A higher resolution image is also available. North is up.