After about a week from a moment my new Meade ACF tube was installed on the pier I had a chance for first light. I was not completely prepared for this – still there is no guider mounted and Crayford focuser was late one day, so I needed to focus telescope with the knob. But since next starry moment may happen not so soon, I decided to put camera into the telescope and try to estimate its abilities. I hoped to reach 20mag stars at 300s exposure, and the obstacles were: no guiding and first quarter Moon. So only lucky imaging with short exposures was available at my EQ6 mount.
This is very first light – one 3 seconds frame of M29 cluster. QHY163M camera at bin2, L filter, Meade 10″ f/10:
Stars down to 16mag at SNR=3 were recorded at this 3 seconds single frame. And below there is stack of 100 such frames, so kind-of 300s single frame. But single frame will contain less noise:
M15 globular cluster above has been also caught, but this one was already pretty close to Moon, so the background is more noisy, and also missing flat files are visible. I was able to identify stars down to 19.5mag at SNR=3, and this is good news. I hope that without Moon and with guiding I will reach 20mag at 300s exposures.
Since Moon was already shining like crazy I quickly decided to capture it as well. I exchanged QHY163 camera with ASI290 plus IR pass filter and TV x2 barlow and at about 5 meters of focal length I recorded few short movies. Seeing was mediocre, some clouds already become to attack, but for given conditions the outcome is pretty good.