> IR-cut filter removal improvement on Pentax K5
I am so impressed with the K5 ability to quickly gather signal from nebulas (Quantum efficiency) and galaxies, so I decide to take one more K5 and to remove the IR-cut Filter of the old one. The same thing I have done in the past with Pentax KM and I got significant improvement of 2.5 stops. Here is a short article on that: http://planetarium-gb.eu/pentax_astrophotography.pdf
Since I have K5, I almost stop using KM as K5 has huge advantage in terms of QA and noise levels. There is no amplifier glow and no need of dark frames and cooling.
In fact K5 is one of the best DSLRs for astrophotography which is using Sony IMX071 Xmor CMOS sensor. Same as ASI071MC Pro (color) (https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/product/asi071mc-pro)
Thus after the modification the Ha sensitivity improvement is far less then what I expected. But this camera is great unmodded, so it seems that Pentax IR-cut filter is letting most of the Ha spectrum to the sensor. Below is comparison of M42 Orion nebula with UHC-S filter of 1.Modded (without IR-cut) K5 and 2.Unmodded. There is very slight difference but well enough to show far great results, when push it to the limit with a fainter objects and stack of 100+ frames.
You no more need large sensors and heavy equipment to do good general photos. The recent development of image sensors put silicon chip capabilities to it's limit by
Knowing what you are looking for is more then half way to achieving it. Breakthrough Listen is a SETI kind of project that listen for artificial signals from 1700 nearby stars up to 160 light years.
Some shots from Sofia. A very bright sky place. Zenith sky brightness info (2015): SQM 19.13 mag./arc sec2 Brightness 2.41 mcd/m2, Artif. bright. 2230 μcd/m2, Bortle class 6.
It is very important how you manage your data. So much shots, so much frames. They are full of hidden data that could be revealed later. The far we look the more we see. Each feint dot could be a galaxy far far way.
Nowadays we are so into the globalization and technologies, that I can submit observation plan to a remote, professional observatory at the other part of the word!