Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jupiter Time

     With Jupiter at it's closest to distance to Earth this year, I decided to change things up and try imaging it.  
Telescope::: Tele Vue NP101 with a 3 x Barlow
Camera::: Celestron NexImage 5
Processing::: RegiStax6 and Photoshop CC

I captured 4000 frame AVI's and in RegiStax I stacked the best 200 frames.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

First Image of 2017

     It wasn't the greatest night for imaging, but this was my last chance to capture Mars and Neptune in the same picture.  This image was taken with my Tele Vue NP101 and Canon T3i.  Actually I think the haze might have improved the image.  If you look closely at Neptune you will see a tiny speck, that isn't a star,  it is Triton, one of Neptune's moons.





ISS Transiting the Sun

This past summer I was told of a great website (ISS Transit Finder).  Inputting your Lat. and Lon. it will calculate if and when the ISS will cross between you and the Sun, and Moon.  So I punched my data and "bingo" there was going to be a pass, actually 2 passes came up, a week apart.  I decided to try capturing this event.  Well the weather wasn't good for the first pass, but I set up anyway.  I set up my Lunt LS60-THa solar scope with a MallinCam Micro ex.  What I needed to do is capture a video of the transit.  The actual transit takes less than 1 second.  in this case it was .54 sec.  Even with the skies so poor I figured I would try a test run.  I wasn't even sure how accurate this info was going to be.  I had a few friends over to witness this event.  Just as it was time for the transit the clouds thinned a bit.  We didn't see a thing.  But after playing back the video we did catch a glimpse of the ISS.  Wow, this actually worked.  The fallowing week the weather was perfect.  I was already to go.  I was sertup like the previous week with the Lunt solar scope.  I started capturing the video and with in a second there it went.  
I took the captured AVI video and used the 20 frames that showed the ISS transit.  Using RegiStax this is what I was able to get.  Next time I will speed up the frame rate of the camera to get a better image.

Imaging in Ha

Its been a while since Ive posted any images. Sorry.   This past fall I started imaging with a 12nm Ha filter. This type of filter only allows Hydrogen's deep red light to pass threw to the camera.  This is very useful for imaging very faint nebulae. Even under moon lit skies.  The only drawback is you need to double your exposure times or double the iso.  These images where comprised of 10 min. exposures @ 1600iso. In processing the images where converted to grey-scale,   and then some where colorized red.

 M16 (Eagle Nebula)

The Elephant's Trunk (IC1396)

 The Bubble (NGC7635)

The Rosette Nebula {NGC2238)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Images of summer

Well there is no excuse this time  for not  updating my blog,  I just kept putting it off.  Well here is whats new.  In June I had some friends help to install a new pier for the Observatory.  Pulled out the old pier and poured a new 10" concrete one.  The previous pier had popped out of the ground from the deep frost of the winter of 2014/15.   I also purchased a QHY PoleMaster, polar alignment camera.  This tiny device is amazing. It enable me to get my polar alignment down to under .30 arc.min.  With such a tight polar alignment I get smaller tighter stars and finer detail in my images.

     Here are a few of the images I captured.  All images where taken with a moded Canon XSi camera on a Tele Vue NP101 apo telescope. on a Losmandy G11 mount.  All processing was done with Photo Shop CC.  There were no Dark, Flat, or Bias frames taken.
The Trifid Nebula M20 (top) and the Lagoon Nebula M8 (lower)
Sagittarius Star Cloud + M24

The Swan Nebula (M17)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's Been A Long Time Coming

but we finally got some great clear skies.  With the wind coming from the Southwest it helped with the transparency and thankfully didn't effect the imaging.  My G11 was holding to scopes that night, my NP101, and my friends AP130.  I used my modded Canon Xsi (450D) with an IDAS LPS-P2 filter controlled by Backyard EOS @1600iso.  I captured 16  images of M42 using my Tele Vue NP101

The Great Orion Nebula

     For the past few weeks I have been doing some upgrades to my computer.  I switched to Windows 10 from 7, and upgraded to Photoshop CC.  These changes have greatly improved the speed of my computer and processing.
     I had captured 16 images of M42.  4 x 5sec, 4 x 30sec, and 8 x 330sec.  I didn't take any Darks, of Flats.  The first thing I did was to open all 16 images into CC Camera Raw and adjusted  the colour balance, vignetting,  exposure, contrast, and blackness.  I also did a quick crop to clean up the edges.  The next step was to open all the images with Photoshop CC.  Using Statistics, under scripts, I stacked all 16 images together.  I have tried this before but never had results like this.  I couldn't have asked for anything better, I was blown away.  This was my first time using CC, and man was I impressed.  The next steps where my normal processing techniques.  I used "Color Mancers" Boundary Noise Reduction to clean up the noise.  I highly recommend it, It is free, and I haven't seen anything better.   When I look at this completed image,  I have to say this is my best image yet.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello Everyone:  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  In August I had Heart Valve replacement surgery.  This has slowed me down a bit, but I have done some imaging.  Once I get it processed I will post the pictures.
     The good news is I was able to get some good images of last nights "Blood Moon, Super Moon" Eclipse.  There where allot of clouds to battle, But I managed to capture totality.  Thanks clouds for giving me a peek. 
     All images where captured using a Canon XSi on a Tele Vue NP101 f5.4 APO Refractor