A familiar target

North America Nebula with Zenithstar 73

A couple of clear nights tempted me to improve upon my ‘first light‘ image for the ZenithStar 73 scope. Over 4x the integration helps to reveal much more definition in the familiar features of the North America Nebula.

cygnus wallA bit of trailing can be seen in the stars, so the image is certainly not as sharp as it could be. Not bad for an unguided star tracker, but I feel it’s definitely possible push the setup further and get a sharper result.

I recently bought a ZWO ASI120MM-S guide camera and guide scope to try my hand at autoguiding with the Astrotrac TT320X-AG mount. So next time there’s a clear night I’ll see what I can do!

This version is a big step up in detail from last year’s attempt with the 100-400 lens. Although I have to admit I prefer the pop and colour of the old attempt (which didn’t use a narrowband filter) verses the muted tones of this version.

Image details: Modified Nikon D5500 and William Optics ZenithStar 73 II APO with 73a field flattener at 430mm / f5.9. Total of 5 hours and 42 minutes of exposure time (171 x 120 seconds) at iso 100. Using Optolong L-eNhance filter. Tracked with unguided AstroTrac TT320X-AG. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker with 12 dark / 30 flat / 30 bias frames. Sequenced with N.I.N.A.. Edited with Photoshop and Starnet++

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