Cameras Nebulae Telescopes

First Light Image From QHY268C and FSQ85

North American and Pelican Nebulae

Full Size Image here (opens in a new tab).

This my first semi-completed image from the QHY268C and so far I am impressed with its performance.  I discuss unboxing the camera and also how I connect it to the FSQ85 in other posts on my site.

This image – above – of The North American and Pelican Nebulae is a stack of 47 x 180s exposures at Gain 0 and Offset 30 at -15C on my Takahashi FSQ85. This is my first deep-sky CMOS camera and I had to research how to preprocess the data from the camera and I will discuss this in another post.

Since I acquired the camera and in keeping with the “new gear curse”, I have been constantly frustrated by wet weather and cloudy skies for almost a month.  The 47 exposures for this image were spread out over about seven imaging sessions, sometimes with as few as four exposures per session, such as been cloudy nature of the skies of late where I live – Nottingham, UK.  I’d set up, get everything running and then it would cloud over.

Raw 180s Sub-Exposure

I’m really happy how clean the images look as you can see from the single 180 exposure above. Very little processing work is needed to bring out the detail in good data.  I was a bit concerned initially about the visual appearance of the master dark but it did the job of removing the artefacts in the lights.

Below is an annotated version of the main picture at top.

Annotated Version

The relatively large APS-C sensor, 16-bit resolution and high pixel count, allied to very low noise and zero amp glow  make this camera an incredibly powerful proposition.  I understandf QHY and ZWO are about to release a mono version of this camera shortly.

I think it is not unreasonable  to say the era of CCD in amateur photography is pretty much over with these incredibly powerful and cost effective CMOS cameras being released nowadays (Oct 2020).

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