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!


B33 (Horsehead Nebula [test shot])   [obsolete]

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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 6nm Filter
Effective Focal Length: 1200mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.9
Exposure: 2 × 32min @ -30°C (Hα)
Total Exposure: 1hrs, 4min
Date: 12/14/2007 1:43 AM PST (Start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCDSoft
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: Self Guided


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

Image Description:

This is a test shot of B33, aka, the “Horsehead Nebula”, a dark nebula in the constellation of Orion. This is Second Light for my new TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor and my new Astro-Physics (AP) 1200GTO German Equatorial Mount. I spent all night trying to get PoleAlignMax to work (note to self: make sure cropping is disabled in CCDSoft!), and then managed to get an hour or so of imaging in before I froze. The stars are elongated slightly in this image, and I think that's mostly due to the compression-ring-based extensions and adapters I was using which caused the camera to sag. I recently ordered some all-threaded extensions and adapters to eliminate this problem. This is Hα displayed as a grayscale image. Somewhat of a test shot, but neat enough to post. A higher resolution image is also available. North is left.