Clear skies to all and welcome to this update.
My telescope focal lengths are really oriented toward capturing Milky Way vistas. But, I recently saw some fantastic images posted on the Astro-Physics users group with relatively short focal length scopes that were lengthened by the new Astro-Physics Advanced Barlow. So, I thought it was worth a try to expand my imaging target capabilities into the heart of galaxy season while waiting on the summer Milky Way to rise.
Another piece of equipment also saw first light on this night, the ZWO ASI 294 MC Pro. Quite simply, I needed a cooled camera for hotter summer night to improve signal to noise. I don’t have time to process LRGB images, so I am pretty much a one shot color guy. I, also, don’t want to mess with a laptop in the field or even at home. That is one of the main reasons I went with ZWO, the company makes the ZWO AIR to communicate directly with the camera via iOS apps on phone or iPad.
One other note on equipment is that I had to use my only UV/IR blocking filter available at the time which was via my Astronomic CLS-CCD filter. I now have a Baader UV/IR luminance filter.
I accumulated 3 total hours on M51 on April 10 with 12x15 minute sub exposures.
I am very happy with the image scale and resolution capabilities that the Astro-Physics Advanced Barlow provides with my AP130GT. This setup really opens up a new library of astronomical objects for me to image.
You can also see the image at astrobin with detailed capture information.