First Light: Astro-Tech 10" f/8 Ritchey-Chrétien astrograph

Double star (Albireo A and Albireo B) - beta Cygni. Stack of 5, 3s RGB exposures.

These are first-light astrophotographs taken with an Astro-Tech 10 inch RC astrograph on 21 September 2010. The telescope was collimated in June after receipt and was stored indoors until weather and schedule permitted assessment. This was purchased to replace my old Celestron 14 which was sold. The moon on 21 September was nearly full (98%), and weather was warm and humid with broken periodic high thin cloud cover. Only bright objects were imaged to make an initial assessment of image quality.

Astro-Tech 10" RC astrograph mounted on Astro-Physics 1200GTO with SBIG ST-10XME (Astrodon I-series RGB filters, 1st generation) and Astro-Physics 80X900 guidescope and remote guider head and with 2x barlow. Guiding for all the astrophotos shown was done with the in-camera guiding chip. All images were acquired and initially processed with MaximDL 4 with finishing in Photoshop CS4.

M57 (Ring nebula) planetary nebula in Lyra, RGB stack of 15, 60 second exposures through RGB filters.

M13 globular cluster in Hercules. Stack of 3 each RGB (30s and 60s)

M27 (dumbell nebula) in Vulpecula. Exposure: 5, 60s RGB; 5 each 60s and 120s luminance. Processed as LRGB.

Posted 22 September 2010