My First RGB Image 1/14/2018

Last night, in 20+ degree weather, while I was home piddling on my laptop the Robotic Research Telescope at the River Ridge Observatory was busy taking some pictures for me. The run didn’t complete, I presume clouds came in, but I got 4 60 second images in red, green, and blue as well as one visual. I stacked those this morning according to color then combined in Photoshop with a how-to I found. Obviously 60 seconds was too much for some of the stars and it filled the pixel well depth or whatever it is called in several places. The main thing is color from monochrome and I don’t even know what I’m doing. I left the potential luminance image out of this, it is strictly RGB not LRGB.

12/10/17 Astronomical League Planetary Nebula Observing Program

I went to the River Ridge Observatory this evening, taking advantage of 5PM sunset along with clear skies and mild temperatures.  I wanted to observe at least six more nebula from the AL’s Planetary Nebula Observing Program to qualify for the certificate. That number is 60 while a whopping 110 is needed for the pin.  I set up my 9.25″ SCT with it’s freshly flashed hand controller and it’s pointing abilities were spot on.  Thankfully this challenge allows GOTO.
As I’ve said before some of the nebulae are hard.  One of the ones I looked at tonight was 2 arc seconds across. That’s smaller than Neptune. The coolest thing of all was an object called Pease 1 which is a nebula in the globular cluster M15.  I used my best eyepiece and a 2x barlow, focused on a bright star next to M15 then moved to the GC.  It wasn’t easy but I’m sure is saw a nebula just to one side on the GC.
In all I picked up 7 nebula to bring my total to 61. Enough for the certificate. Considering the difficulty of some of the remaining entries, the pin will take some time to achieve.