Messier 48 in Hydra

Imaging targets below celestial equator is kind-of problem at my backyard. Down to declination -10 it is fairly easy, but below -10 I have many obstacles in the way. Messier 48 open cluster in Hydra is placed at declination -5, so it is still an easy job to picture it assuming that seeing is good. This target is not imaged often. Well, it is only a bunch of stars, no bells and whistles. It is however nice target for visual observations and I located it easily with my SCT8″ under suburban sky. When viewed with 24mm eyepiece it was dispersed set of stars, with some interesting patterns to locate. M48 open cluster is about 300 million years old and is about 1,500 light years away.

Picture below is composite from two cameras – 25×3 minutes of luminance with QHY163M and 15×3 minutes of color with QHY163C. Made with 130mm refractor and EQ6 mount. Using two cameras to collect data – one for luminance, and one for color – seems to be a good idea. However there is an overhead of this solution: you need to exchange camera every some time. If you are focused only on LRGB astrophotography, then better solution would be to have two instruments with two cameras put on the one mount. I wrote also an entry about having OSC camera vs mono.

M48 open cluster in Hydra
M48 open cluster in Hydra

Clear skies!

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