City lights, neighbours outside lights, limited number of clear nights and astrophotography from your backyard, all mean having to battle not only light pollution but time and opportunity to engage in our hobby. So if there’s technology that can make things a little easier than why not give it a try!

Narrowband and light pollution suppression (LPS) filters are the goto for many astronomy enthusiasts be it visual or imagers. With light pollution increasing each year and our inability to escape it for one reason or another means we have to adapt and utilize things like special filters.

What is the difference though between not using one of these filters and using one? That’s what I wanted to visualize so I did an experiment. It invlovled imaging the same deepsky object twice, using the same telescope and camera, for the same amount of time. But one image uses no narrowband/light pollution filter while the other one does. The difference is quite stunning!

No filter! 4.5 hours data taken without a narrowband filter.
4.5 hours IC1396 using Triad Quadband Ultra filter
With narrowband filter. 4.5 hours of data taken through the same telescope and camera, using a narrowband filter.

QHY168C-cameraI must also say I’ve been really impressed with the QHY 168C cooled cmos camera. It’s been nothing but a joy to work with and seems to be very sensitive for capturing faint detail while providing low read noise. The 16 megapixel design with 4.8 micron pixels is a perfect match for a wide variety of telescopes and lenses. Making for a very versatile and affordable astro imaging camera. You can learn more about the QHY168C here at the OPT website.

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