First RGB/Ha Image

Finally, a clear night that was not below -15C/5F. It’s been a tough winter here in Minnesota. Back in January I got a Mini ZWO filter wheel and filters for my ZWO asi178mmc camera and just recently got a chance to test the new setup. During this period of no-imaging, I was able to build a Dew System for both my guide and main telescope and review my cable management (more on this later).

I wanted to image a simple target and test the the overall function of the filter wheel, focuser integration in EKOS/Kstars. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time imaging as this was a test. So, the simplest and colorful image to test the new setup was Imaging Orion’s Nebula (M42).

The M42 images were taken using the following exposures:

  • Red – 8 x 120s
  • Green – 8 x 120s
  • Blue – 8 x 120s
  • Ha 7nm – 5 x 120s
  • Dark , Flats, Bias Frames processed.
  • I used Astro Pixel Processor (APP) for processing and did some post processing with Adobe Light room.

Below Shows the results:

I am sure that I can process the image data better, and will go back and examine the overall color processing using APP. I will get the process flow better and there are some questions regarding the Ekos focusing routines that I need to better understand and setup as I found that Ekos was focusing quite often during the imaging. I also used the Ekos Scheduler to execute the image capturing process.

Image Gallery

This gallery is my basic Astronomical Deep Sky Gallery.  I’ll be updating this regularly.  (Updated December 16, 2018)

Latest Images and a Look Back

I started out taking astronomical images back in the mid 1990’s using CCD imaging.  This was when  CCD cameras were very expensive and not very practical for the amateur astronomers.   I found a book about making your own CCD camera, The Cookbook Camera by Richard Berry.  I built several of these camera CB-245 and modified the cooling system. The cookbook  CCD resolution was 378×242 pixels (my current camera has 3097×2080). 

Andromeda Galaxy – M31 (Old Cookbook Camera Image)

By the mid 2000’s they became obsolete.  I then purchased a Meade DSI pro camera and continued imaging.

Andromeda Galaxy – M31 (Meade DSI Pro CCD)

Fast forward to the present, I got back into the hobby and found that the prices have come down quite a bit.  I purchased a ZWO asi 178MMC camera which is cooled and the price point was which I could afford.  I’ve been re-learning and purchasing new equipment.

I have finally got a number of “good” images that is a vast improvement from my old Cookbook days and Meade DSI Pro cameras.  It’s been some learning curves with the equipment and software. I will be writing some useful articles about using Linux with Indi Library Drivers and my setup.  I will cover the lessons that I have learned during this process.

Andromeda Galaxy – M31 (ZWO asi178mmc)
IC5146 – Cocoon Nebula

NGC 6992 – Veil Nebula

Dumbell Nebula – M27
Veil Nebula (ngc 6992/6995)

CCD Imaging with the LX200 8 inch f/5


It’s that time of year where I like to take out the telescope. Bugs are dying off, less humidity, and nights are longer.  I have a pedestal mount that I attached during these months. I hopefully will build a simple enclosure to help expedite the setup time. The scope is remotely controlled and I used a CCD imager as my eyes. Even though this scope is up in age, it works well and guides well.  I’ll upload some of my astronomy projects as time permits.

M101 – Pinwheel Galaxy, Meade dsi pro