David Elmore, a renown night sky photographer based in Boulder, Colorado, is visiting Dark Sky New Mexico (DSNM) this week. On Tuesday, he captured this image of the Dolphin Head using an ASI6200MM Pro through H-alpha and Oxygen III filters behind a Vixen VSD 100 at F/3.8. “ I took eight exposures of 16 minutes through each filter calibrated and combined HOO as RGB in AstroPixel Processor,” said Elmore, “but I have some concerns that the H-alpha filter is causing the red halos around some stars. Of course, it may also be that they are just bright.”
“Though it does not make a big difference for narrow band, the sky here was really dark last night, 21.93 magnitudes/arc-sec^2.” said Elmore.
“Though we are primarily a remote imaging hosting site, visiting sky photographers are always welcome,” said Michael Hensley, DSNM Principal and Site Manager. DSNM does have studio apartments to provide on site accommodations and has a cement pad with both Internet and AC power available for use by visitors.
David Elmore Update: February 24, 2020
Following his visit to Dark SkyNew Mexico last week, renown night sky photographer David Elmore processed additional images. “Both cameras are full frame with two setups mounted piggyback. Image 1 is a ZWO ASI6200MM Pro behind a filter wheel and off-axis guider with H-alpha and Oxygen III fed by a Vixen VSD100 at 380mm focal length. Exposures were sixteen minutes long with 8 OIII exposures and 10 H-alpha exposures,“ said Elmore. ”Image 2 was captured using a Borg 55FL astro-graph with 200mm focal length feeding a Canon 6D with a Triad dual band filter, H-alpha and OIII+H-beta. This image is a stack of forty-one, eight minute exposures. The field of view was centered for the Vixen resulting in the wider field of view of the Borg coming frustratingly close to capturing the Rosette in the same frame.”
The sky measured a relatively dark 21.71 but there were thin cirrus causing the somewhat pearl-like stars. From a dark site like this, thin clouds do not do much to bring up the background as there are so few lights on the ground to illuminate the clouds.