Thinking about Narrowband Imaging

According to Give a Mouse a Telescope, my need for new equipment would be neverending. But I think that a narrowband filter set might be among the last things that I need to buy.

There are two reasons that I would like to pursue narrowband imaging. First is that I like narrowband images. Some of them are absolutely stunning. The second reason is that narrowband filters block out all but the wanted wavelengths, thereby extending DSO imaging opportunities into moonlit and bright suburban skies.

These filters are expensive. A 3nm SHO set costs about $1500, and I am willing to pay that, but I have some boxes to check off first.

To me it makes no sense to send money on narrowband imaging until first I have mastered wideband imaging. But I am not that far off.

I have my mount working well, and autoguiding is almost where I want it to be. The NP101is is a great telescope for narrowband. The ASI6200MM is a great camera for the task. My equipment and software are integrated and working well together. So what’s next.

I have some more work to do with the guiding system. I can see the path forward, but I just need some clear skies to work in.

Then I need to re-learn how to take Flats. This shouldn’t be a problem since I have done it before and have good notes. I just need to regain the ability to do it confidently.

And finally, I need to work through image processing in Pixinsight.

These steps, coincidentally, are the same ones that I need to work through to prepare for Winter Star Party, which is just seven weeks away. As there will be a learning curve for narrowband imaging, and because my focus will be on getting to the Keys, I will defer the filter set acquisition until after I return.

Leave a Reply