Astrophotography with a OSC (One shot colour camera)

I will show you what can be done without too much effort using a One Shot Colour Camera (in this case a ZWO ASI294MC Pro) and the Live Stacking feature of the ZWO ASIAIR Plus.
The filter I used was the Optolong Le’Nhance filter (which captures LRGB plus some narrowband emissions all in the one filter) refer to an earlier blog I have written about this filter as well.

The Live stacking feature of the ASIAIR Plus has been programmed to take as many shots as possible within a 30 minute time frame and each shot is set at 60 seconds.

The location was in my backyard of suburbian Melbourne (Mitcham) with a Bortle reading of 7!!

Before I set up the plan to take my photographs, I made sure that the targets I selected were in good view, nice and high in the sky and allowed for as much exposure time as possible.

This particular night, I was fighting with the clouds that quickly came in from the West, which eventually evolved into one of the biggest storms I have seen in a long time, hence why the exposures were not as long as I wanted. But I have posted here to show you what can be achieved with such little time.

Firstly, we have the Helix Nebula located about 694 light years from Earth.

Secondly, we have the Orion nebula (M42) located about 1344 light-years from Earth.

Then we have the Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070) located about 157,000 light years from Earth.

We have the Triangulum Galaxy located around 2.7 million light years from Earth.

And finally, we have the Horsehead Nebula is 1500 light years from Earth.


The camera is the ZWO ASI294 MC Pro – $1599.00
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/zwo-asi294mc-pro-usb-3-0-cooled-colour-astronomy-cmos-camera.html

The filter is the 1.25 inch Optolong L’eNhance – $265.00
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/optolong-l-enhance-1-25-inch.html

The hardware acquisition I used was the ZWO ASIAIR Plus – $499.95
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/zwo-asiair-plus.html

The telescope that I use is the Skywatcher Evostar 80600 refractor – $1349.00
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/skywatcher-evostar-ed80-600-doublet-refractor-telescope-ota-only-with-case.html

The mount is the Saxon AZEQ6 GT – $2899.00
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/saxon-azeq6-pro-mount-with-steel-tripod-built-in-usb.html

Feel free to discuss what is involved in setting up your astrophotography rig in the most cost-effective and efficient way or you may simply wish to query me in greater detail how I achieved these photographs.

Clear skies – Gerald

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4 Comments


  1. Are you using any guiding to take these long exposures? I’ve been doing Astrophotography for about 2 years now unguided and usually struggle to get good enough polar alignment to take exposures longer than about 20 seconds each. I picked up an Orion Mini Guidescope to use with my old ZWO ASI224MC as a guide camera (not ideal for guiding I know, but its what I have on hand) but haven’t yet been able to attach it to my main scope yet (A Saxon ED80) … I haven’t really figured out mounting rings yet and have a feeling I’m missing some screws or similar.

    The ASIAIR Plus looks quite amazing, I would love to be able to operate my scope from inside rather than out in the cold. Am I right in assuming that I can run a camera and a star stacking camera both from it over wifi?

    Reply

    1. Hi T,
      Yes i am autoguiding with an ASI120MM mini and a ZWO 30F4 guidescope and I use the ASIAIR inbuilt multi star guiding.
      the ASIAIR runs over wifi and images are stored on the inbuilt storage on the Plus version or on a USB dongle.

      Reply

  2. Nice Pics Gerald, especially for short exposures. What F-stop where you at. I came into the store once and spoke to you about using a Filter wheel with our colour camera (294MCpro). I would love to see what the difference is between the L’eNhance vs L’eXtreme filter on the same target with same exposures.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Wayne,
      With my telescope (127APO triplet) -native f7.5 I am using a 0.8 reducer and so it brings the f-stop down to f5.8)
      I have taken onboard your suggestion and will do a comparison for you, the next time I get the chance to image.

      Cheers G

      Reply

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