First Light: Losmandy G11 Gemini 2 Mount

Losmandy g11 Gemini 2 Mount

After imaging for the past 2 years with a Celestron CG-5 Advanced GoTo Mount, I finally took the plunge and treated myself to a Losmandy G11/Gemini 2 mount that I happened upon on Astromart.  I actually was not in the market to buy one but I was actively looking and one Sunday back in April, I saw a local listing pop up and I had to seize the opportunity.  Luckily, the mount was located just 1/2 hour from my house so I met the seller and we closed the deal.  He showed me how to set it up and use it and I took it home that same day.

Flash forward to September 2014.  Realizing that the mount was going to be too heavy for me to simply haul out to the backyard, I needed to order a Scopebuggy.  After finally receiving the buggy, I was ready to assemble the G11, get it wired up, and test it out for its first light.

Losmandy g11 Gemini 2 Mount 3

My target for a test run was the Andromeda Galaxy and I remember the skies called for clouds so I quickly set up to test it out before the clouds rolled in.  One great aspect about the Gemini 2 system is that you can connect to it via an Ethernet cord so I was able to use the Astrotortilla program to plate solve and center the object so I could start imaging.  Initial tests of the mount via 10 minute sub exposures on the Andromeda Galaxy yielded very promising results.

Andromeda Galaxy First Light Losmandy G11

It was not until xxx 2014 where I had a true first light on a complete imaging session.  My target was the Heart Nebula (IC 1805) and I imaged the object in Narrowband (Ha, SII, and OIII) over 3 nights.  This was by far the easiest imaging session I ever had in my astrophotography experience.  The guiding on the Losmandy G11 was a smooth as silk, with little to no guiding error in the X and Y axis.  Using 15 minute sub exposures, the results were outstanding and yielded nice round stars even out to the edges of the image.  Here are the results:

Heart Nebula IC 1805

Since then, I have dialed up the exposure time to 20 minutes with stellar results on the faint emission nebula known as the Soul:

Soul Nebula in Ha

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