Messier 51 and first light for my Orion Optics 250mm rebuild

M51 May 2021
M51 May 2021, ASi1600mm Pro, Orion Optics 250mm, CEM70g

This LRGB image is the result of 3 hrs of imaging with many lost subs due to cloud and some RA imbalance issues. Probably only 1.5hrs with most of those softened by clouds. This results in a noisy and more washed-out image than I would have liked. Still, compared to my first attempts, 14 yrs ago, it’s not bad.

Imaged with the ASI1600MM-Pro, ZWO filters, Lacerta Komakorr Coma Corrector. modified Orion Optics 250mm Next on the CEM70G.This was first-light for my refurbished scope. I had the mirrors re-silvered in 2020, I flocked the tube and replaced the focuser for a Skywatcher low-profile Crayford. I’ve just finished making a brace for the rings – to stop ring wobble – which it does very well. The Lacerta Komakorr Coma Corrector is a big improvement over Skywatcher 0.9 CC. Sharpness has improved across the image, its very noticeable.

I should try and revisit this target again and give it the time it deserves now that my equipment can capture more detail.

Some of my earlier attempts:

M51 May 2017
M51 21x300s @ISO800 260517. HEq5, OO 250mm, 550d.

A guided session using an HEQ5. Manual focusing is a bit dodgy so lots of detail lost.

M51 April 2012 Canon 350d
M51 April 2012 Canon 350d

An early guided session using my HEQ5.

M51 April 2009
M51 April 2009

Taken with a Canon 350d, OO 250mm on an EQ5 unguided.

M51 May 2007
M51 May 2007

Taken with a modified webcam using my OO 250mm on an EQ5.

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