Heart & Soul

Heart and Soul nebula

I dusted off my old Nikkor 180mm lens to test out a newly acquired Optolong L-eNhance narrowband filter for a widefield shot of the Heart and Soul nebula. The faint emission nebulae being the perfect target to test the filter’s light pollution suppressing abilities. In total I mustered a combined 4 hours 40 minutes over two nights of imaging from the back garden.

Even with the recent astro modification of the D5500 camera, this would normally yield a disappointing result. Nebulosity would be washed out and almost indiscernible from the background glow. However, with the new filter (mounted on the front of the lens with step down rings) the difference is like night and day! The exposures are much darker, but the cosmic structures can easily be identified in the single 1 and 2 minute sub-exposures.

Heart and Soul nebulas at 180mm

Shown above is the same image without employing the Hubble Palette colour processing technique.

Image details: Modified Nikon D5500Nikkor 180mm f2.8 at f4. Total of 4 hours 40 minutes exposure time (120 x 60 seconds plus 80 x 120 seconds) at iso 800. Using Optolong L-eNhance filter. Tracked with unguided AstroTrac TT320X-AG. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Edited with Photoshop and Starnet++

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