26 May 2002
Having waited 8 months from ordering the telescope and camera (from
different suppliers) they were finally delivered on the same day, 8th May
I then had over two weeks to set the equipment up before the next
clear sky arrived on 26th May 2002.
As first light images I took a series of exposures of
M51 with different exposure lengths which were then combined in Maxim/DL
to create the final image below, with a total exposure of 190 seconds.
Note that this was taken at f/10 without focal reducer lens and so is
at a larger scale than most of the rest of the images in the web site.
Also note the image problems - guiding was bad because Periodic Error
Correction (PEC) was not enabled on the mount at this time and focussing
was also poor.
See the comparison image of M51 taken in
January 2004 with a total exposure of 210 seconds, stacked with
Astrometrica, at f/6.3 and with focussing automatically done using
This image taken at the start of astronomical twilight on 18th January
2004 has been log stretched to bring out detail in both the faint outer
arms and the central cores of the pair of galaxies M51 and NGC 5195