No – 78 days later is not the tittle of a new post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle, it’s the number of days between last nights imaging session and the 5th May, when I imaged M51. It was clear enough last night for a few hours of imaging with the Ha filter, the waning moon has little effect on imaging with this filter and the target was Pickering’s Triangle in the Cygnus, Veil complex also called the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant. this is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust at a distance of 1470 Ly, the remnant of a supernova that exploded about 8000 years ago.
The imaging session was marred only by the GPUSB adapter that is used for autoguiding dropping out, this was caused by its USB connection, not surprising considering the time between sessions, unplugging and reinserting the plug sorted the problem. The adapter uses optocouplers to electrically isolate the computer from the telescope, eliminating a possible source of electrical interference.
I also had to think how to aqiure the image in the first place with the APT software, it had been that long since I had last used it.
I managed to capture 19 x 300 second exposures before it clouded over again, not quite enough to stack together for my liking – but stack them I did and to be honest its not as noisy as I thought it would be. Hope I don’t have to wait as long to get the OIII and SII data to give this object some colour.