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11 of 76 photos

Jones Emberson 1

Jones Emberson 1 (PK 164+31.1) is a planetary nebula in Lynx. It is basically a sun that is dying, and most likely our sun will die in a very similar way. It is ~1600 light years away from us. Numerous background galaxies are visible in this image.

Technical details:
Date: Nov. 24-25, 2012
Time: 11:40 pm - 3:40 am
Camera: SBIG STF-8300M
CCD Temperature: -12 C
Optics: Takahashi Sky 90 II @ 406 mm fl (f/4.5)
Filter: Astrodon 5 nm H-alpha
Light frames: 11x20 min
Dark frames: 6
Flat frames: 10
Binning: 2x2
Guiding: Orion SSAG @ Orion finder (~162 mm)
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Dithering: Manual
Processing: Stacking in DeepSkyStacker, Curves and Levels PSCS5.

Other notes:
A gradient of some sort remained in this image - the left and right hand edges are brighter than the rest of the image. I don't have the slightest idea where it comes from, and obviously I haven't been very successful in removing it. Perhaps this is due to the changing light pollution conditions as the moon was setting during the last couple of images? I'll have to look into this further. (EDIT: The gradient seems to be due to a lack of dark frames, so I added 6 dark frames.)

The mount was a champ. Sub arcsecond guiding in RA throughout the night, and the DEC axis looked equally amazing. I gave periodic error correction a try, but I was getting better RMS values without it (~0.25 vs. ~0.1).

This was picture taken at the 'East Camino Cielo' - 'Painted Cave' intersection. For full moon nights, this seems to have a couple of advantages over my usual location on Figueroa mountain as long as I make sure the fog stays out. But the characters that were driving up/down the mountain had me a bit worried.

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Jones Emberson 1