MadMan's Astronomy and Astrophotography Pages - Photos of the Week
TWO FULL YEARS as of
11/2012  and counting since I
bought my first telescope and
took my first picture Mike
Active Optics from Starlight Xpress:

Let's just say I spent almost a month trying to get this to work on my CGEM DX (new) only to find out the mount had DEC gear lash issues that required a
return :(.  What a waste because this unit, once on the Losmandy G11 mount, performs flawlessly.  Guided by Maxim with a Lodestar in the OAG, it holds a
perfectly round star on a 20 minute guide.  

With that in mind, I ran a number of quick tests to frame various objects (see below).  I am now in the process of working on complete sets of narrowband
images at fl=2800 (f10) in the C11" Edge HD.

See equipment pics below as well
.
Equipment pics shown with Celestron reducer -
favor of using the AO unit at f10.favor of using
the AO unit at f10.
Celestron mount won't guide worth a
crap.  Sent back for a new replacement.
Test images using M25C camera (20-90min) for frame size and stability...
NGC 660
M81
Bubble Nebula
(20 min)
NGC 891
Crab Nebula
Elephant Trunk Nebula - single
10 minute frame - H694 - Ha filter
More serious attempts - narrowband with M25C or H694 camera in the C11" Edge HD SCT scope at f10 using SX-AO unit
and either a G11 or CGEM-DX mount.
Crab Nebula - Hubble Palette - 3 hours of 20
minute subs
HorseHead Nebula -
Middle: HaRGB (RGB 1h 45m of 5m subs)
Right: HaRGB+HaLum
M82 - Cigar Galaxy  - 6 hours of HaLRGB
Bubble Nebula - Hubble Palette - 5 hours of
20 minute subs @ f10
Elephant Trunk Nebula  - 4 hours of Sii, Ha
and Oiii 20 minute exposures
Eskimo Planetary Nebula - 3 hours of 10 minute subs - C11HD @ F10 with SX-AO unit and IDAS-LP filter
Tak 106 @ prime - H694 Camera - 5 hours - JellyFish Nebula in Hubble
Palette.  Below that is a dust and scratches filter
applied to accentuate the various gas components.  Plan on adding 5 hrs.
Other Images for the Month:
Works in Process: Multi night long-term projects combining various LRGB and Narrowband emission line data.  Initial tests and results.
Wide Field Orion work - Going to start capturing a mosaic of Ha data
with the H694 camera in my EOS lenses to combine with the below
Canon 60Da RGB data.  Will hopefully result in a pleasant Orion
Wide Field that will show the Hydrogen emission detail.  Mouse over
to see star names and Constellation outline.
Thor's Helmet - Beginning of a long-exposure project
Here is some preliminary data (some of which
contained poor subframes) to test the method.  Tak
FSQ-106 @ f5.0.  H694 Camera.
I tested many different combinations of LRGB and Ha, O3,
S2 emission line data to see what might look best.  Below
data types as stacked in PixInsight.  No processing work on
types as stacked in PixInsight.  No processing work on
these but it led me to feel the lower left two images looked
most natural.
Equipment configurations for January (see below):

Canon 24-105mm lens.  Note the 'finder scope' is a Canon 70-200 (white) zoom attached to my lodestar color guide camera.  The views are almost live-action and really crisp.  When
I went to all-OAG guiding a few weeks ago, I had been putting my extra color lodestar on a finder just to orient myself and look around.  Orientation can be tough through the OAG
as you know.  Then I decided to buy a Canon EOS to C-mount adapter.  I have been taking single shots and doing a quick de-bayer while imaging with the other two scopes and
long-exposures.  Passes the time and they come out great.  Much better than even my Vario 60mm finder scope.  Probably will go about stacking some to see what they look like
Narrowband imaging at f10.  Start of other multi-night imaging projects.
2nd Anniversary of my entry into the hobby!