M51 and First Light With AP 1100GTO Mount

Ben Koltenbah


I wanted to post about my successful "first light" using my new AP 1100GTO mount.  It worked flawlessly, and in fact after just a few minutes I forgot that it was even there.  Coupled with a new portable pier, it's a tall system, and I'm pleased that with my Celestron 11" EDGE I can start imaging certain targets many hours before they cross the meridian, thus avoiding a meridian flip.

In many ways I like this even more than my Mach1, particularly with the ALT adjuster, insert for keeping internal cables out of the path of the polar scope, and of course being sturdier with larger payloads.  It does take me longer to set up and tear down than the Mach1, but that's partly due to me not being as familiar with it yet.  This is also a step up for me from GTOCP3 to GTOCP4, where I certainly haven't explored all the benefits of the newer control.

Here is an image of M51 taken with the C11 + 0.7x FR + QSI 683, only 1 hr integration time on L, 2 hrs each on RGB.  I only got good seeing conditions for half a night out of a total of four nights, otherwise I would have preferred a lot more integration time on the L channel, but overall I'm pleased with the result.

Best Regards,

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