Silver City, New Mexico, is a destination that isn't on the way to anywhere else. It is located at the eastern end of the Mogollon Rim at about 6000' with a mild dry climate. I was aware it was a popular area for remote observatories and jumped at the chance to spend a week near there, while my wife learned to weave Rio Grande style tapestries.
The trip was a great success. After a brief stop near Eldorado to image the ring of fire annular eclipse, we spent seven nights north of Silver City. Six of those were great for astrophotography. My overall plan was to image a collection of targets in broadband color that I'd only imaged in narrowband from back home in Austin.
We spent seven nights about 20 minutes north of Silver City at the the very pleasant Idyllwind Cabin AirBnB. The sky view from the cabin garden was limited by tall trees. I set up the scope about 120' away in a clearing with a good vide of the sky to the north and north east. I was amazed to find that with careful antenna placement, I was able to control my telescope reliably from the cabin. My guess is that there was a lot less radio interference up near the continental divide than back home.
Other than the straight from the iPhone images, all were imaged with WO RedCat 250/51mm, UV/IR cut filter, ASI533 MC camera, ASIAIR Plus controller, SW AZ-EQ5 mount. Processed in PixInsight, drizzle stacked then SPCC, RC-Astro Noise/Blur/StarXTerminator plugins, GHS, and PS final exp and crop.
The summer Milky Way was sinking in the south-west as skies darkened. This is an unedited 30" exposure straight out of the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Another unedited 30" exposure straight out of the iPhone 15 Pro Max with the northern Milky Way and M31
Here is a crop of just M31
The waximg moon made the Elephant's Trunk was my only narrow band of the trip with the Optolong L-Ultimate 3nm Ha O3 filter in an HOO palate. The Elephant's Trunk was captured with three hours of exposure.
After midnight the Orion and the winter Milky Way climbed above the trees in the southeast. This is an unedited 30" exposure straight out of the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Content created: 2023-11-10
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