The Great Orion Nebula, M42, in narrowband. Two processing versions, using HOO palette (more natural looking) and SHO (more detailed, as it also includes Sulfur).

M42 - first narrowband attempt
M42 - first narrowband attempt
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Mars getting smaller, a few weeks after its opposition.

Mars, 26/10/2020

A couple of close up of the Moon, around the craters Copernicus and Plato.

Moon, Copernicus Crater area
Moon, Plato crater area

The Red Planets a few days before its 2020 opposition, one of the closest in years.

Mars, RGB + IR, 10/10/2020

Jupiter, a few weeks after its 2020 opposition.

Jupiter

Saturn a few weeks after its opposition, August 2020.

Saturn

This is the first of a series of articles. As I'm always experimenting and tuning my setup, I'm not sure how many more articles I'll be writing.

A few years ago I began to introduce myself to astrophotography. I had some fairly nice equipment back then: a SkyWatcher HEQ5 mount, a Meade ACF 8", guide scope and camera, a borrowed reflex, laptop, 12v car battery.

Although this is pretty much entry level equipment, barely sufficient to getting started, it had been already quite expensive (almost 2000€ just for scope and mount, even though the scope was second hand), bulky and heavy. I ended up barely using it, both because of a relatively steep learning curve and because I honestly was getting tired of carrying around 20/30KG of equipment with barely any tangible result.

Then a few things happened: the mount was stolen, I sold the optical tube, and ended up moving to London, where I embraced a new "astronomical philosophy": the lighter, the better.

Last saturday, after lots of garden testing and software checks, I've finally been able to drive to a dark place for a few deep sky shots.

The driving part itself was the most "scary", as I'm still new to driving in the "wrong side" of the road... Getting the hang of it, though..

I chose to go observing with the HantsAstro stargazing group.. they met in a quite dark site (at least for being not too far from London), and their website and facebook pages really did inspire me. I'm really glad I joined them, as it was a really pleasant evening, with lots of nice people.

My target for the evening was the center of the Cygnus constellation, between Deneb and Sadr. It's an area full of nebulae, perfect for a wide field lens. Technical data, together with stars and object names, can be found in the astrobin technical page.

Cygnus' heart