M106

I got a ZWO ASI 178MM to use as a new guide camera. My old Touptek camera loved to disconnect in the middle of the night, so I just couldn’t trust it anymore. The ZWO camera has much higher resolution and also a larger field of view, in addition to being much more sensitive. Guide stars abound now! I had also adjusted the declination backlash on my EQ8-R, which was pretty easy to do. The new PHD2 calibration went flawlessly, with no complaints about little south movement anymore. Declination guiding was outstanding all night, and dithers settled much, much quicker. I’m getting there!

I decided to go all night on M106. It’s not quite circumpolar but enough that I could get over six hours of data on it. The night started later than expected due to clouds that weren’t forecast, but I think it was plenty of data to give good results. My flats still just never agree with the lights, I’m going to have to get creative with that now. A subtraction of a despeckled layer, a little background denoise, and some detail enhancement gave excellent results.