The last time I did any work on the ” Wall ” part of the North America nebula, NGC 7000 was way back in June, then I captured the Wall in Ha light, but now the nights are drawing in, the sky is getting much darker now as the sun goes deeper below the horizon ( Astronomical twilight is when the center of the Sun is 18° below the horizon ) so as last night was clear I managed to collect the OIII and SII data to finish the Wall. The seeing was good as Cygnus is nearly overhead when it gets dark.
I captured as many 300 second exposures in each of the two filters as I could, I also had to perform a Meridian flip part way through capturing the SII data, The Meridian is an imaginary line, running north to south, directly overhead, at your observing location. When using a German equatorial mount you run the risk of the telescope hitting the mount tripod or pier, if the telescope is allowed to continue past this meridian line on the West side of the mount and falling ( counter weights rising ), this can cause damage to the the drive motors and gears so a ” flip ” or a 180° about turn is performed before this happens to put the telescope on the East side of the mount and rising ( CW’s falling ). This also has the effect of inverting the image as the telescope and camera are now essentially upside down compared to before the flip occured, as both the R.A axis and DEC axis rotated 180° – so you have to double check the image Framing, the APT image capture software I use has a framing mask tool that can be flipped to help in this. I had to stop imaging at about 5am, as once again the clouds rolled back in.
Once the data was collected I then proccessed it through Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop.
I think it turned out quite well, hopefully I’ll get some more clear nights as I will soon be able to continue my Rosette nebula project, also Orion season is back.
I was away camping week before last, at a small campsite in Bridgetown, Exmoor not far from Dunkery beacon. The campsite lies beside the river Exe, I took my DSLR with me this time and got a couple of nice shots of the night sky as well as the stunning views a round abouts, however the site sits in the bottom of a deep valley with tall trees on either side so the view of the sky is rather limited.
A truely beautiful dark sky, I really wish my observatory was under it, but on top of one of the hills would be best.