The Rosette – A Blooming Flower In Space
“I go back outside again and Orion, along with the Unicorn, seemingly were engaged in combat with the clouds”
In the ever vast ocean of stars, galaxies, gaseous clouds and reflecting dust nebulae lies one target. An almost delicate flower of a nebulae. So fine its details that you could just blow it away with your own breath, like one would a dandeloin.
I am of course referring to the cluster of NGC 2244. Fondley referred to as The Rosette Nebula.
This particular form of gas lies about 5200 light years from our rock in space. It’s radius is placed at 65 light years. No, I haven’t measured it myself. I’ve got it from Wikipedia. Located in the easy to miss constellation of Monoceros – The Unicorn – it chases Orion through the winter nights in the northern hemisphere. With the Twins, Gemini, gleefully following along.
22:00 Hours – The Clouds Roll In
After setting up Astrophotography Tool (APT) to image – 240s subs @ ISO800 – I returned inside to shoot some video for my Youtube channel. After filming that I popped outside again to check if everything was nice… but it wasn’t perfect. At 10pm the clouds from the north began to roll in. South was still alright though, and imaging could continue on. Inside I go to record an update for the video. I go back outside again and Orion, along with the Unicorn, seemingly were engaged in combat with the clouds as The Bull and The Twins succumbed to their fate of being covered.
The battle raged on a bit longer as my telescope continued imaging. Orion and his Unicorn putting up a valiant fight to maintain clarity over the Rosette. However, alas, the clouds ultimately won and my target was clouded out…
So I put the cover on the telescope, and shot my darks. The forecast said it should clear up. So I waited in hope.
The Clouds Receed But The Problems Don’t Stop
Sometime at I think about 10:45pm the clouds cleared. Even though my given dark sequence hadn’t finished I wasn’t about to waste prime clear skies to that. So I cancelled the sequence, pulled the lens cap off and went back to absorbing those photons onto my Canon 450D’s sensor. It was about this time I noticed another issue though: The USB hub.
I had a USB hub on my telescope that was powering my dew heaters; or so I thought. Whilst I was checking the integrity of my subs I noticed some strange fuzziness appearing. I immediately knew my lens was dewing up. The USB hub had failed and the band heaters weren’t being powered! So I rushed indoors to get my USB extensions again and managed to hook it up and got the dew heaters working. The fog cleared up and imaging resumed once more. This hobby can be calming and relaxing, it can also be fraught with random issues that you just weren’t expecting. Like EQMOD losing its mount connection which then stops pulse guiding so your PHD2 guidance fails, also. Yep. That was a constant thing also which I do not know the cause of, or solution to.
Whilst I was inside I began pondering the plausability of purchasing a purposefully dedicated astronomy camera. The one in mind is the Altair Hypercam 183C. I’ve heard good things about it, and seen good things about it. One issue is, though, I never considered the smaller sensor size whilst I was purchasing my Skywatcher Evostar 80ED. The field of view is even narrower, so some targets lose their viability – if I don’t want to do mosiacs that is. So… I might need a shorter tube refractor. No problem, I’m always fond of new telescopes… Oh wait, I’m not rich… Huh, that’ll have to wait then.
Until then, I’d like to thank you very much for reading. Here is my finalised image; NGC 2244 The Rosette Nebula. I really do need much more data on this though, I had to stretch it to high heaven to get detail – and it shows in the noise.
Until next time, clear skies, have a good day, and all the best fortunes upon you.