NGC6960, NGC6979, NGC6992 – The Veil Complex

Not the most common target for the season but definitely one of my favorite. I wanted to start working on mosaic and based on preliminary work with Stellarium and the Ocular addon, the Veil Complex could be done with only 2 frames with my AT65EDQ combined with the 500D.

I went to the OCA site in Anza on November 27th. It was a good night although a bit windy. I had a few targets on my list and started early with the Veil Complex as I didn’t have much time before it sets. I spent about 2 hours on each frame but had to throw away about 30 minutes worth of data on the second frame because it was just too low on the horizon.

It is worth mentioning that I had been trying to find a new T-adapter that doesn’t have a safety groove and that is short enough because of the lack of much back focus on the AT65EDQ. I have been using the AstroTech T-adapter but I had reasons to believe the safety groove could the cause of some stars elongation. This elongation is independent of exposure length which rules out any guiding or aligning problem. Unfortunately, the Baader self centering T-adapter wouldn’t fit my T-ring and the William Optics was just too long. I tried locking on the end of the AstroTech T-adapter but I was not able to reach focus. I did my best to lock in the safety groove as I had no other choice. It turned out to be all right but I definitely need to address this.

Processing a mosaic is definitely fun and challenging. Having only two frames I gave a shot to DSS in mosaic mode. I would have to work on this a little bit more as I couldn’t find a way to normalize exposure in my post processing. Too bad as it did a perfect job at aligning the frames (as usual!). I ended up stacking both frames independently and did the final processing in Photoshop CS5. Details are below the picture.

  • Date: November 27th 2011
  • Camera: Canon 500D Baader Modified and CP30T-EOS Cooled (Sensor maintained at 15 C – Exif temperature: 15 C)
  • ISO: 1600
  • Exposures: ~ 3.5 hours total of 300 s subs (in 2 frames)
  • Mount: Losmandy G11 Gemini 2
  • Imaging Telescope: AT65EDQ
  • Guiding Telescope: Mini Borg 50 w/ SSAG
  • Calibration: Darks, Flats
  • Stacking: DSS
  • Final blending/processing: Adobe Photoshop CS5
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2 Responses to NGC6960, NGC6979, NGC6992 – The Veil Complex

  1. Oscar Ortega says:


    I was looking for pictures taken with the at65edq since I was interested in buying one, your pictures are great and I am definitely getting one. My friend Alan suggested getting a guide scope that could pull double duty as a guider and wide field imager.

    I have been changing my gear to something simpler, I just sold my Losmandy Titan and 12″ mead ota.. Too heavy and my back could not take the weight. I am getting a AP Mach1 and got a used explorer scientific 127 mm apo from a local guy that only had it for a month. The 127 will also doubled as my HA setup with my soon to arrive Daystar ION filter.

    I want to get started in imaging and hope to buy a QHY10 camera, I don’t want to deal with a mono cameras..just want to keep it simple. I have photoshops cs2, may get Nebulosity although ccdops and Maxim have a lot of features in them…but for $60 I can give nebulosity a try. Besides sometimes these all doing software are expensive Nd youu end up only using a fraction off the features :-).

    From what you said it seems you made your own power unit to take to remote imaging. Do you have any plans and schematics for that?, I looked at the kendrick units but they are quite expensive.

    Keep up the great work, you images are an inspiration to beggineres and I am sure seasoned astro imagers!


    • CooledPix says:

      Hi Oscar and thanks for your message. The AT65EDQ is a very likable wide field imager. I also have been using it as a guider with my AT8RC and it did great.
      Unfortunately I have no drawings for the Power Unit. I built it quickly over a week end without thinking it could be of use to anyone. I actually use very rarely as I built it before I joined the Orange County Astronomers association. The Anza, CA site has power outlets everywhere which makes my Power Unit… jobless. It does work very well though – if you have any question about it don’t hesitate.


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