My first target with the new scope and mount was a cluster of galaxies near the star 1 Ari. I mostly was just testing equipment and making sure all the software worked. I was only able to get 90 minutes of exposure on it, still giving a poor signal to noise ratio.
I found out about a program to do astrometry and annotations, astrometry.net. I got it to run locally since it has a FreeBSD port, and it works pretty well! Here are the galaxies present in my image:
My flats still did not work out well, even though I tried daytime sky flats. They introduced a lot of colored rings in the integration:
I tried to combat this with a heavy denoise applied to the background, followed by a despeckle subtraction. I finished the image off with tone mapping and a deconvolution. It didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.
After some research, I am led to believe that the problem could be reflections within the imaging train, probably somewhere between the filter and the sensor. I took off the camera and pointed the telescope at a brightly lit wall; I found some reflective surfaces on some two inch extensions I had between the coma corrector and filter. I flocked the inside of these extensions and added another flocked extension past the filter to cover the inside of the drawtube. This left the view completely black aside from the aperture. I hope this will fix or at least improve these aberrations I am getting. Post-processing these images would be much, much easier with a flat background.