NGC2174 – The Monkey Head Nebula

A first foray into Monochrome imaging using my new ZWO 533MM pro camera.

Monochrome cameras are more sensitive than one shot colour cameras, but require you to shoot through colour (or narrowband) filters in order to create a colour image.

This image is comprised of 114 5 minute exposures using 7nm Hydrogen Alpha, Sulphur2 and Oxygen3 filters, again combined using the FORAX palette in PixInsight.

This image also represents a change in HOW I image. I’m now at the point where my setup is fully automated, and my tracking mounts live outside permanently (under all-weather covers) I only need to take the scopes and camera out on an imaging evening and attached them to the mount. My setup time is now only around 10 minutes.

I then start the imaging sequence and monitor it remotely, if my two favourite weather apps are convinced there’s no chance of rain, I’ll leave the equipment out collecting data and packup in the morning.

It’s the only way I could reasonably collect 9½ hours worth of data, as used in this image, in a single night.

One day I’d like to have my gear permanently housed in an automated observatory, but that’s going to require planning, money, and a bigger garden!