Capturing the Flaming Star Nebula

I’m starting a new project which is the Flaming Star Nebula.  The object rises from the horizon at the very early time of the day and the only way I can capture this is when I do everything in automation unless I’m not going to sleep.  So far what I have is the Ha which turned to be very good.  The S2 frames doesn’t really look good and probably need more time to capture some data.  Anyway this is just my first pass on my Ha data and the result is already promising.

The Flaming Star Nebula in Ha

Capturing the Heart Nebula (IC 1805)


The Heart Nebula

I couldn’t get the processing right.  I don’t know what I’m missing but struggled a lot in getting the SHO palette working together.  Anyway, so far this is what I got and hoping that I can get more data in the next couple of nights.

The Heart Nebula

Updated with a reprocessed data

The Heart Nebula



  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PHD2
  • Stellarium
  • Stellarium Scope


  • Celestron AVX Mount
  • Orion ED80T-CF
  • Orion 80mm ShortTube
  • Orion SSAG
  • ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cool
  • ZWO 8 1.25″ Electronic Filter Wheel
  • Orion 7nm narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2)


  • 38 Ha frames @ 5mins exposure
  • 12 O3 frames @ 5mins exposue
  • 18 S2 frames @ 5mins exposure
  • 40 dark frames
  • 100 bias frames
  • no flats
  • 10-22 to 10-23 1017

Inspecting my imaging train (CCDInspector)

I got a huge tilt in both of my imaging train and thanks to CCDInspector to validate my hypothesis that there’s a hug problem in the imaging train of both of my astrophotography setup.  The camera I used for both is the ZWO ASI1600M-Cool and it’s good to see that the curvature is different meaning that I can eliminate the camera as the source of the problem.  I may also need to use my Canon 5DMarkIII and Canon 7D/SL1 cropped sensor to validate my findings.

Explore Scientific ED127MM

Explore Scientific ED 127 MM


Orion ED80T-CF

Orion ED80T-CF

This could be my next project this weekend and will take the opportunity because it’s full moon, no image capture.

I couldn’t believe of eh curvature and amount of collimation for both of my astrophotography rig.

Review: Orion ED80T CF

I have been using this scope but I haven’t really written a review and I guess now is the time since I have used this scope a lot and have seen a lot from what it can do.  Don’t take my words but look at the result of the astrographs that I have taken using this scope

Click to see full size
Orion ED80T CF Astrophotography Setup

Little History

This scope shown above was acquired during a swap meeting in SJAA  two years ago.  I got if for half the current price but I’m not sure of when this was originally acquired as the price started from around $650 to $900+ these days.  The condition of the scope when I got it was not really good, a lot of dust and a lot of sign of heavy use.  The only reason why I brought it is because I might be able to clean it up and do some repair specially on the focuser, or I can simply buy a new and better one from Starlight Instruments since I’m going to use this for astrophotography.

So after the cleaning and a couple of repair…


The Glass

The FPL-53 glass is one the of best type of glass that can be used in a triplet configuration.  It  is very sharp and pictures that I took from this scope are very clear.  I have used different cameras for this scope and the results are very consistent.  I have used a Canon DLSR cropped and full frame and also the ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cooled and the smaller sensor from the same manufacturer.



The tube is made of Carbon Fiber and a couple of anodized aluminum.  It was very light and construction is very strong and from the condition of it, aside from some minor scratches, the tube was perfect.  I did some polishing but it’s not really important, it’s actually good for me because I’m seeing how the scope have served someone else before and now me.  It has internal rings to limit the reflection of the light inside.  Overall the construction of the tube is very good and will withstand the test of time.


The Focuser

This is where it can be improved a little bit because of the signs of use, I can clearly some problems on the draw tube where some of the anodizing material are starting to stick to the focuser bearing.  I did a lot of things to make it work for me specially that I’ve notice some or slight bending probably because of the bearing eating the anodized aluminum in the draw tube.  I did some filling and some very fine sand paper to make it very very smooth then I cleaned up the bearings and tighten everything.  Replaced the grease on the 1:10 housing to make it very smooth again.



The scope came with a very good case to protect the scope.   The build was very good, standing the test of time.  The glass was perfect and with some care on the focuser, I have taken some very very good images.  Below are just some and this scope became my goto scope for travelling and mostly for semi wide angle astrophotography.


Star Cluster and Galaxies

The images below are taken with the ZWO LRGB filters and exposure are set to 30 seconds each sub.  Each channel has 30 subs and acquired using SGP and post processed using PixInsight and Photoshop CC2017

Click the image to go to the article to see the full size image

Click the image to see the full size


Deep Sky Objects (Narrowband)

Most of the images below are taken with the Orion narrowband filters, Ha, O3 and S2 with 7nm band pass.  Subs are taken with 5 minutes exposure and 12 subs per channel with a total of 3 hours total image integration.  Images below has 30 bias frames, 12 darks and no flats.  Also notice that most image is not cropped that the channel integration are noticeable on the sides of the images.  You can click on the images to see the full size, full resolution.

Click the image to see the full size

Click the image to see the full size

Click the image to see the full size

Click image to see full size

Click image to see full size

Click image to see full size

Click to see full size

Capturing the Pleiades

The Pleiades

The image above was taken last Sept 25, 2017 and it turned out to be good.  20 subs per channel with 30 seconds exposure each.  The total time of integration is 40 minutes. The Pleiades was one of my early target as I was learning.  I think I have learned a lot every time I go back to my old data.  I’m very happy with the result above, with very little post processing, the details of the dust cloud that was illuminated by the bright stars and also the small stars from red dwarf to some young, blue stars.

Here are some of the my old captures. From my old post (Pleiades (M45)