MadMan's Astronomy and Astrophotography Pages - Photos of the Week
18 months and counting
since I bought my first
telescope and took my
first picture (below)....

Click the picture below to download the first
single 10 minute Ha FIT file captured with
Nebulosity I took with this camera.  Filter =
Astrodon 5nm Ha.  Telescope = Tak 106
FSQ EDXiii @ f5.0.
Above is an unprocessed
stretch and save of the FITS
file above.  Only a single, 10
minute subframe.
Below is a stack of only THREE 10 minute narrow
band subframes.  Astrodon filters (5um).  Very little
processing as I was anxious to see the results.  Note
that this was an attempt to calibrate with only
flatlights and bias.  

Below is a stack of TWO 10 minute Ha subframes
with no calibration.  Just summed in PixInsight.
Eastern Veil Nebula in Narrowband (Ha, O3, S2) palette - two renditions.  Astrodon filters (5 um).   Images below were calibrated and registered in DSS and processed in PixInsight and
PS4.  They are fully calibrated (Lights, Darks, Flats, Bias, Dark Flats) and consist of only 5 x 20 minute exposures (2 x 20 Ha, 2 x 20 S2, 1 x 20 O3) under VERY poor imaging conditions
That will be a wonderful experience for those of us that like to do narrowband imaging!

Excuse the quality of the images - but I wanted to test some quick results.  I plan on adding to each of these until I get to at least 4 hours to reduce noise and improve quality.
Click the image below for a link to
a raw 10 minute FIT file captured
in Nebulosity.  Ha filter, Tak 106
a link to a raw 10 minute FIT
DARK file captured with the
H694 in a 66 deg F ambient
exposure, un-calibrated and un-stacked, from this
camera in Ha.  The raw fit was stretched and slightly
Below is a SINGLE 10 minute jpeg conversion of an
sharpened just for presentation - and that was it.  It
shows the little noise and hot pixels associated with
this chip - all of which go away when calibrated in
DSS with lights and bias and a hot pixel removal
routine.  You can download the actual raw FIT file
below that as well as a comparative dark frame.
Eagle Nebula - Narrowband - 4 h 20 m
Miscellaneous picture -
May, 2012.  Flea 3 in
Baader Barlow.  Saturn.
M13 done with the
SXVR-H694.  15, 30s and
total).  Tak 106 @ prime.
No Frame version
No Frame
version - watch as I
Above:  3h 40 m
add to this image
for improved SNR
Elephant Trunk Nebula - Narrowband - 4 h 20 m
The Cygnus Wall in NGC
7000 (right) - 5 hours of
20 m exposures
Oiii=1h=Blue).  Note stars
were taken from a 15
minute RGB exposure as an
I will be adding data to this image.  
Here is the prior 3 hours of 20 m
exposures (Sii=1h=Red,
Ha=1h=Green, Oiii=1h=Blue).  
Significant detail improvement in
the 5+ hour version.
Just 1 x 5 minute RG and B taken
to create the image below which
was used to generate the Just 1 x 5
minute RG and B stars for the
Narrowband image to exposures (15
minutes total) were the right.  Not
very clean but it got me what I
wanted.  To the right I added the
Ha channel as luminance.
The camera uses the Sony ICX694ALG 6.1 megapixel chip.  Pixel size is about 4.5 um in a
plate which was accomplished via my laser setup and fine tuned on the mount with CCD
Inspector.  This is not a criticism, just a technical note.  The SX cameras seem to come
Inspector.  This is not a criticism, just a technical note.  The SX cameras seem to come The
camera uses the Sony ICX694ALG 6.1 megapixel chip.  Pixel size is about 4.5 um in a
collimated to the outer window instead of the CCD clear sleeve and must be adjusted to obtain
12.49x9.99mm area.  Note that out of the box, the camera needed collimation of the tip/tilt
perfectly round stars.  My first images (Lagoon and M13) were done prior to collimation.  
The Eastern Veil was done post fine tuning.  Note that due to the length of my subframes (10
or 20 minutes) some star trails are still evident but these are not from poor collimation.

Results:  This camera absolutely ROCKS in Ha sensitivity.  It produces, in almost no time
and under poor seeing conditions, some of the deepest looking Ha images I have ever
captured.  While the pixel size might be an issue for long focal lengths, the sensitivity may
well just make up for it.