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Back on the Horse - a winter project in narrowband


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I've been a bit quite recently, mainly due to the weather, but the beautiful clear night on Sunday/Monday got me back in the saddle.


A number of years ago Sara Wagner published a narrowband image of the Horsehead and Flame nebula, it was as usual amazing, but also she kept a lot of green in the image which made for a lot of active discussions if I recall. I personally love the image and the colours she used. You can see it here https://www.swagastro.com/ic434-b33.html


So I have taken this image as inspiration and I am going to try and create my version of this narrowband Horsehead image over the winter months, although my FOV won't give me such a wide frame - but I'll work with what I've got.


Having not been out for a while there were a few gremlins, but the positives are that in changing over from ASI2600MC  to ASI1600MM plus narrowband filters with FF/FR I had opportunity to break down the telescope and remove a section to make the FR work, I noticed that the Moonlite flange has grub screws that allows fine tuning of the focusser tilt and one grub screw was slightly proud of the flange, I backed it off so the flange would be flush. I also reviewed the backfocus and  increased it by 1.5mm.

As some of you know I have had issues with elongation of corner stars in recent images - the good news is these small tweaks seem to have resolved the issue as pixel peepers can see in image below -  I want to get about 10-12 hrs of Ha to really go deep on the dust clouds and be the foundation for a SHO narrowband eventually. The most combined integration I have done so far is 17hrs on one panel (I did do 40 hours on my 4 panel Auriga widefield) , so I am hoping to break the 20hrs integration on this single frame project -could be a challenge given the weather we have had in recent years and also as Orion moves westwards my neighbour's tree/hedge blocks my view - I may have to go mobile to complete this project...


This Ha image was taken with a 98% moon shining brightly but using the Antlia 3nm Ha filter has got me to this point , a 3 hrs integration with 36 - 300s subs. No halo around Alnitak, but ASI1600 microlensing is apparent and I've not quite got the masking around Alnitak quite right.


So all you might get from me through the winter months will be variations on a Horse...





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It looks like a great project and l look forward to following it through Bryan.

Those 3nm Antlia filters are great. I saw a review from AstroBloke the other day on Youtube comparing the 3nm Antlia directly against an old version of the 4.5nm Baader S2 he had (not the current ones that Baader have recently released). No contest. The Antlia was so much better.

I think I will invest in another set of SHO filters for the 2nd rig.

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Thanks Terry, it’s a project worth a blog to follow the ‘journey’….

BTW - any comment on the framing ? 
There’s lots of wispy bits above the horse but rolling clouds of dust below, not so apparent in this image, putting the horse in center give a bit of both - any creative inputs appreciated as Impactful framing subjects isn’t really one of my strong points in imaging.

usually put it in the middle and get on with it……


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