M81 - First light with F4 8" ONTC Newtonian and Voyager

I’ve been collecting data (well, actually Voyager did the collection, I was just the director and producer of this picture :slight_smile: ) since late February on this one - first target for a new-to-me 8" ONTC Newtonian using a Televue FF that gives an effective FL of 920mm. It was shot in HaLRGB, about 26 hours total, with an ASI1600MM and Astrodons. Calibrated and stacked in AstroPixelProcessor, processed in PixInsight.

I moved to a darker location last November and took some time to set up, so starting to get to the point where I have enough data to process. I usually aim for 24 to 30 hours of data on a target, but that may be overkill where I am now, with 21.1 SQM skies.
Full size:

Thanks to Leo for making the acquisition part of this so easy!



Wow that’s simply stunning!

Great result and start at your new place Rowland! :+1:
Keep them coming. :sunglasses:


Thanks for using Voyager Rowland, congratulations for new place , new scope and for the great image with really great color and deep.

Always happy to be of service.

Pure beauty! Thanks for sharing. I do have the same TV paracorr and is excellent.



Very nice job Rowland

Beautiful shot Rowland!

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I’m quite happy with the ONTC Newt and darker skies! The only “negative” - and it’s not really a negative - is now I want to re-shoot everything I did at the old place.

I didn’t obsess as much as usual over processing, sometimes “less is more.” I know it could be improved further but I think if you work too long on an image you start making things worse :slight_smile:

On to the next one!


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Amazing image. One day I too will live and image at such a location… Fantastic image nevertheless.

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Thanks Neil - it’s been very rewarding imaging from my new location. I’m not a “traveler” for AP - just not my thing - but if you are, it’s a good alternative to living at a dark site. We did some tests and at my 21.1 SQM site we get data about 10x faster than at 18.8 SQM, as measure by hours of exposures to get equivalent SNR with the L filter.

That make sense Rowland, I struggle from my back garden to get anything like a clean noiseless background at all. Fighting a losing battle but I still enjoy the hobby and the results that I do get. I looked at going remote but its too expensive for me. I’m trying to find a nice farmer in France / Germany that is willing to rent me a small patch of land!

This is a great image well done :clap: :clap:. I’ve been thinking about purchasing a 8" ONTC Newtonian for some time now but was never happy with a FL of 800mm but after reading this at 920mm this brings me closer to what I’m imaging at with my Tec 140 at 980mm with a similar FOV.

Thanks! Go for the Newt, you won’t regret it! It’s a nice fast scope. The autocollimator tools made that task easy.

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I’m ready to pull the trigger on one what collimator tool are you using?


I’m using the Catseye 3 piece set:

This YouTube tutorial shows it in action - I use the second method that starts around 6:30 - it’s a lot easier and faster.


Many thanks Rowland.