Sunday, October 1, 2017

M42 - The Orion Nebula in HDR 01-Oct-2017






































M42 - The Orion Nebula in HDR 01-Oct-2017

High Dynamic Range Orion Nebula at various exposures, HDR combined using Aurora HDR 2018

http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/image/166308209/large

Shot between 4:50 and 5:15am. The satellite tracks can be avoided by shooting earlier, or later, depending on the time of year.  At the time the images were taken, M42 was in line with the satellites.

Kinda cool, actually.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Power of Post Processing

I've been toying with a variety of photo editing programs and in the following image, I really boosted the "clarity" (contrast) of an M31 image I recently posted, as seen here.

Admittedly a bit "grungy", or noisy if you prefer, but notice how much more detail is brought out around the galaxy's core, as well as the dust lanes.


The devil is in the details - and so are the data. :O)

(Adjusted in Topaz Studios /http://www.topazlabs.com/ )

A larger size of the above comparison can be seen here.

And here is a larger version of the new image.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

What with Solar Minimum approaching ...

This isn't supposed to be happening - a "plethora" of sunspots.

Screen on left side is from Spaceweather.com.

Solar image taken 03-Sep-2017.





Explore Scientific ES102ED FCD100 with ATR8 focal reducer.
Nikon D5300a

All post processing in ViewNX 2.
Cropped but not downsampled (no binning).

See also http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/image/166131800/large

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 - Eclipse Photos

Solar Eclipse 2017 Eclipse Photos - from Hartsville, Wy.

See http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/solar_eclipse_2017_eclipse_photos for further details.


Star chart generated by TheSky Astronomy Software (c) Software Bisque, Inc. All rights reserved.





 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Preparing for Solar Eclipse 2017 - White Balance Check

All digital cameras contain an IR (Infrared) filter in front of the chip, be they CCD or CMOS. By having the IR filter removed, the naturally occurring infrared produced by vegetation emerges. (A custom white balance is required to restore the color balance of non-IR emitting objects, such as the rocks in the background. I'm still working on that.)
Some astronomical objects, such as emission nebulae, also emit Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) and an IR modified camera picks up that signal more so than a standard camera. The photo on the right shows what the plant should look like, appropriately named a Blue Agave. Tequila anyone?


For camera conversion services, i.e., having your DSLR "IR Modded" (IR filter removed), visit Life Pixel Camera Conversion Services here

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Preparing for Solar Eclipse 2017 - Sunspot AR2665



While preparing for the upcoming August 21st solar eclipse, Sunspot AR2665 was captured with the Nikon 300mm f/4 ED IF and Sigma 1.4x tele extender. Taken 15-Jul-2017, zenith is up. Reduced to 50% (i.e., 2x2 bin).




DSC_0977-50pct-IPadj.JPG

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Suggested Reading


Suggested readings in astrophotography. I have these books, and more.

Digital SLR Astrophotography
Practical Amateur Astronomy (Michael Covington)
 

The New CCD Astronomy
By the developer of the CCD Calculator (Ron Wodaski)
See also http://www.newastro.com/
 

Astrophotography
Very thorough and in depth, beautifully illustrated (Thierry Legault)
 

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Saturn at Opposition 16-Jun-2017 (and maximum ring tilt)


Taken @ 12:18:52pm MST on 16-Jun-2017 (0718UT on 16-Jun-2017).

Here is Saturn at Opposition 16-Jun-2017. For views of what Saturn has looked like over the course of the last 13 years, see http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/saturn_ring_tilt

Best 90 of 1800 frames (5%) taken with the Celestron NexImage5 planetary imaging camera, Celestron 1100 EdgeHD telescope, no barlow, no focal reducer, fl = 2800mm. Image scale 0.16 arc-secs/pixel. Video captured using iCap 2.4, processed in ImagesPlus6.5. Three passes unsharp mask, cropped and contrast boost in ThumbsPlus 10. North is up and east is to the left, as customary.

Original video available at https://youtu.be/QSgeqaykAgw

CVT_20170615_Saturn0005 00-17-07-GRADEAVG-Best5Per-2AP-TPadj-50pct.jpg

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Switching the C11HD to Visual - My Digital Finder


AKA - What's that eyepiece doing in my telescope?

I haven't really enjoyed any visual observing for awhile (couple months) and wanted to catch Jupiter in the 11" EdgeHD. So, I came up with this project. Ordinarily it would be a simple matter of removing the imaging train and installing a diagonal and eyepieces. But, this turned into an expanded project.

For one thing, without the camera on the scope, I would be unable to perform image links when finding objects.

This project resolved that by replacing the finderscope on top of the C11HD with the autoguider (scope and camera) from the AVX platform (WFPIP).
So, I made that transfer yesterday, the 11th. (11-Jun-2017)

Below are my diary notes for the 12th.


06/12/2017
Had a very successful morning converting the C11HD to visual.

I wanted to use the SV50 guidescope with the QHY5L-II autoguider on the C11HD to be used as a finder by image linking in TSXPro.

Found I could easily perform an image link using the QHY5L-II/SV50 autoguider combination, along with the Orion 2x Shorty Barlow.
Image link stats indicated a scale of 3.60 as/p, with the camera binned in the ASCOM set-up.

Used Venus to align this "digital finder".

Later, played with using the SV50 guidescope with QHY5L-II autoguider to autoguide to test the ability to use as a separate autoguider and possibly eliminate the OAG.

That would be nice. But, that's another project for another day.


After aligning the "digital finder"* with the main scope using Venus, I was able to use TSXPro to locate the galaxy by image linking on the autoguider's image by taking an exposure in TSXPro using the autoguider camera (QHY5L-II).

*QHY5L-II/SV50 autoguider combination, along with the Orion 2x Shorty Barlow.
Image link stats indicated a scale of 3.60 as/p, with the camera binned in the ASCOM set-up.


M31 appearing in the PHD2 screen, using 0.5 sec exposures. The QHY5L-IIM was configured to bin 2x2 in the ASCOM setup, yielding a combined pixel size of 7.5um and an image scale of 3.60, with a 2x Barlow.

Plate solution (per TSXPro):
******** ASTROMETRIC SOLUTION RESULTS ********
Center RA (2000.0): 00h 41m 45.34s
Center Dec (2000.0): +40° 39' 29.8"
Scale: 3.60 arcseconds/pixel
Size (pixels): 640 x 480
Angular Size: 0° 38' 25" x 0° 28' 48"
Position Angle: 2° 31' from north through east
Mirror Image: No
RMS: 1.58 (X: 0.92 Y: 1.29)
Number of Stars Used in Solution: 7 (100%)
FWHM: 4.21 pixels, 15.16 arcseconds
***********************************************

Autoguiding with the "digital finder". (Taken 4:31am - getting light out.)





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Monday, June 5, 2017

NGC7331 - Season Finale

Between the Moon setting so late in the morning, ~3am, and the Sun rising so early (astronomical sunrise 3:35am), there's not much time to grab many exposures. And next month's monsoon will pretty much dampen any chances of imaging. But, you know, you can always sneak in one last shot (image above).


A single 8-minute exposure @ ISO800. (The sky was much brighter than what you see here and so a needed contrast adjustment muddied the picture a little.) 



So, this is probably it until the Fall, as far as imaging with the C11HD. By the way, the mount (Orion HDX110 has really smoothed out, probably due to the gears being run-in. Here's the autoguiding graph (image right). 


Total error 0.44 arc-seconds, which accounts for the detail in the galaxy.

In the meantime, I'm working on my "WFPIP" (Wide Field Portable Imaging Platform) and hope to take it up to Happy Jack next month. It's the platform I used to take the recent images of M8 and M20, the latter of which was taken running the rig solely from a battery.

More to come,
William Shaheen
Gold Canyon, AZ

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

M20 - The Trifid Nebula 04-Jun-2017


Single frame. 120s @ ISO800.
ES102ED FCD100 with the ATR8 yielding f/l=573mm @f/5.6, taken with the Nikon D5300a.

PREVIEW_20170604-02h51m16s899ms-TPadj2-IPadj.JPG

Saturation; Lightening and Contrast in ImagesPlus. Followed by color balance,  ARL 5x5x5, contrast via micro curves, in IP.
One pass unsharp mask and resized to 50pct in TP.

Keywords:
120sec;ARL 5x5 5x;AS/P=1.44;Bias=9;bin-1x1;Celestron Advanced VX;Configuration-20170601;Cropped;Darks=0;Dithered not;ES102ED FCD100;f/5.6;FL=573;Flats=0;fr=Astro-Tech ATR8;IR-Mod;ISO=800;M020;n=1;Nikon D5300a;PBase;PREVIEW_20170604-02h51m16s899ms-TPadj2-IPadj;Resize=Not;Show;Slideshow Astro;Uploaded;

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M8 - Testing the Astro-Tech ATR8 focal reducer 03-Jun-2017 (contrast enhanced)

Single frame. 300s @ ISO400.
ES102ED FCD100 with the ATR8 yielding f/l=573mm @f/5.6, taken with the Nikon D5300a.

Note tumbling satellite trail caught in upper right corner.

PREVIEW_20170603-02h48m09s778ms-TPadj.jpg

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

M8 - The Lagoon Nebula with NGC6544 27-May-2017

This is the UNreduced version (no focal reducer) using the ES 102ED FCD100 which incorporates Hoya glass.

Distance 4,100ly, in Sagittarius (per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagoon_Nebula)

Telescope configuration: Explore Scientific ED102 FCD-100 Air-Spaced Triplet with no focal reducer (baseline for future comparisons (fl=714mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 4 - 300 second exposures at IS400.

Image capture scale: 1.15 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view = 1° 55' 30" x 1° 17' 06". Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.

Mount: Celestron AVX German equatorial mount (HyperTuned by Deep Space Products), unguided.

Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, DDP; Hue, Saturation; Luminance (HSL) in ImagesPlus Image Processing 6.5.
One pass unsharp mask in ThumbsPlus.

No cropping; resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 2.30 as/p.

20170527_M8_CombExcAvg-IPddphsl-TPadj.jpg

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sun Compass - How to do a daytime polar alignment


One of the challenges of setting-up telescope equipment at a public star party is you need visible stars in order to polar align your telescope mount. But, it's just at that time that the visitors are curious and want to ask questions, God bless 'em.

So, for some time now, I've used the azimuth of the Sun (from the SkySafari Info screen below) to set-up my tripod before dark, or at any time of day, say for a solar observing event, such as an eclipse.

When the sun angle is 270° (Sun directly West), it's a piece of cake - arrange the two southward facing legs so that the shadows overlap. (See Morning Example, below.)

But, what do you do between Fall and Spring, when the Sun doesn't reach as far North as 270°? And, what if you want to set-up any other time of day? Maybe you waited too late and missed the 270° mark?

So, using the azimuth of the Sun reading, found in SkySafari, I used this contraption to line up it's shadow with the SS reading of 276° and 4 min.

Now, for this to work, one has to reverse the cardinal direction readings, since you want to point to where the Sun's shadow is coming from. Hence, 270° is on the right (east, as I'm looking at it). North is up.



















Also note this is not affected by the Equation of Time since that is figured in with the SS azimuth reading.

So, all one has to do is set this sun compass under or near your tripod, orient the shadow to agree with SkySafari's listed azimuth of the Sun (or, whatever source you customarily use) and aim your third tripod leg to where North is indicated.

Now, we just need a Star Party.

Morning Example - taken when the Sun was at an azimuth of 75°.





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M8 - The Lagoon Nebula 23-May-2017

Distance 4,100ly, in Sagittarius (per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagoon_Nebula)

Telescope configuration: Explore Scientific ED102 FCD-100 Air-Spaced Triplet with the Explore Scientific 3" 0.7x focal reducer (fl=500mm, f/4.7).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 10 - 30 second exposures at IS100.

Image capture scale: 1.63 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 158.9 arc-min. Image capture on-board camera controls with IR-remote.

Mount: Celestron AVX German equatorial mount (HyperTuned by Deep Space Products), unguided.

Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Sigma Median Reject combined,
DDP, noise reduction in ImagesPlus Image Processing 6.5.
Adaptive Richardson-Lucey deconvolution (5x5 by 5 passes) in IP.

Cropped to final dimensions and resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 3.26 as/p.

20170523_M8_CombSigMed-IPddp-IPadj2-NEBcrv-TPadj2-IPclr.jpg

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Monday, May 22, 2017

M27 - The Dumbell Nebula 21-May-2017


Distance 1,360ly, in Vulpecula  (per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbbell_Nebula )

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 4 - 10 minute exposures at IS800. Ambient temp ~69°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 24.9 arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Excluded Average combined,
DDP, noise reduction in ImagesPlus Image Processing 6.5.
Adaptive Richardson-Lucey deconvolution (7x7 by 7 passes) in IP.

Cropped to final dimensions and resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 0.82 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 2.68 pixels, 2.19 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170521_M27_CombExcAvg-IPddparl-TPcrp-IPadj-TPadj.jpg

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Autoguiding - Exposure Time vs Minimum Motion

Exposure_Time-vs-Min.Motion

Originally published 12-May-2010

Regarding, "Typically you will want to autoguide with exposures of 4-5 seconds to overcome effects of seeing ...", (from a Yahoo Group post), I believe there is a different school of thought developing on that point. From my experience, the key to avoid chasing the seeing is to increase your minimum motion rather than increasing exposure time. This enables using a so-called "mid-range" mount and making quick, responsive corrections. To my way of thinking, you want to choose an exposure time that provides a solid SNR but does not saturate. Then, separately, adjust your minimum motion/movement to accomodate seeing conditions. Using PHD Guide as one example, I typically examine the star profile and shoot for a nice sharp spike rather than a plateau. But, the error most commonly made is to leave the minimum motion set too low and then increase the exposure time, which bloats the guide-star. For example, I myself use an Orion ST80, 400mm f/5, with a Q-Guider, which has 5.2um pixels. The resulting image scale is of course 2.68 arc-seconds/pixel. But at the default minimum motion setting of .15 (pixels), that turns out to be .40 arc-seconds. That means PHD would issue a correction if it detected a move of .40 arc-seconds. That would be fantastic seeing, no? Even if you double that to allow for movement in either direction, that's still .80arc-seconds. For most of us, seeing is around maybe 2 arc-seconds. In practice, I typically set exposure to 1.5 seconds. But, if the star I want is bright enough, I'll go down to 1 second, again, to get a nice sharp guide star, and let the min. motion take care of chasing the seeing. I've used anywhere from .25 pixels to .40 pixels min. motion. I've also seen it advocated to reduce aggressiveness. That is the last factor to adjust - again, it has nothing to do with seeing. Once you have the above factors determined, if you're consistently overshooting, i.e., bouncing back and forth (overcorrecting), reduce it. If your corrections generally take 2 or 3 moves in the same diection to get the star back where it belongs, increase it. So, in summary, use exposure time to provide good data for the centroid calculation and deal with chasing with the parameter designed for that purpose - the Minimum Motion Setting.

Thanks and regards,
Bill Shaheen Gold Canyon, AZ\ USA

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

M57 - The Ring Nebula 29-Apr-2017



















Distance 2.3kly (per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_Nebula )

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: Best 10 of 12 images at a variety of exposures between 180 and 360 seconds at IS800. Ambient temp ~49°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 15.5 arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with a QHY5L-II monochrome planetary & autoguider camera, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, HDR Adaptive Add Average combined.
Stretching and DDP in ImagesPlus Image Processing 6.5.
One pass unsharp mask in ThumbsPlus v10.

Cropped to final dimensions and resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 0.82 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 3.04 pixels, 2.49 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170429_M57_CombAdpHDRAddExc-IPstr-TPadj3.jpg

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M13 - The Hercules Globular Cluster 29-Apr-2017

Distance 22.2kly (per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_13 )

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: Best 9 of 11 images at a variety of exposures between 30 and 180 seconds at IS800. Ambient temp ~53°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 41.1 arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with a QHY5L-II monochrome planetary & autoguider camera, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Sigma Clipped Average combined.
Stretching and DDP in ImagesPlus Image Processing 6.5.
One pass unsharp mask in ThumbsPlus v10.

No cropping; resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 0.82 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 2.80 pixels, 2.30 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170429_M13_CombSigAvg-IPddp-TPadj.jpg

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M16 - The Eagle Nebula in Serpens 22-Apr-2017

Distance 7,000 ly

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 6 - 10 min. exposures at IS800. Ambient temp ~58°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 22.2 arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with a QHY5L-II monochrome planetary & autoguider camera, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Sigma Clipped Median combined.

Cropped to final dimensions and no resizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 3.69 pixels, 3.02 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170422_M16_CombSigMed-IPddpadj-TPcrop-TPadj-IPnr-Crop2.jpg

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M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo 25-Mar-2017

Distance 31.13 ± 0.42Mly

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 10 - 10 min. exposures at IS1600. Ambient temp ~53°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 35.5arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 9 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Sigma Clipped Median combined and finished with a one pass unsharp filter in ThumbsPlus 10.

Cropped to final dimensions. No downsizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 2.92 pixels, 2.39 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170324_M104_CombSigMed-IPddpadj3-TPadj-INP.jpg

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NGC3169/3166/3165 (l-r) - Galaxy grouping in Sextans 23-Mar-2017

Distance 57Mly

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 7 - 8 min. exposures at IS1600. Ambient temp ~50°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 25.2arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 0 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Exluded Average combined.

Cropped to final dimensions. No downsizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 3.26 pixels, 2.67 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170323_NGC3169_CombExcAvg-IPddp-Crop-TPadj-INp.jpg

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Horsehead 31-Jan-2017 Using Summed Luminance

This image was taken as part of testing TSXPro's Summed Luminance capture option. Dustmotes removed using Inpaint.

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 2 - 10 min and 5 - 15 min. exposures at IS1600. Captured with TSXPro Camera Add On from Software Bisque using Summed Luminance mode.

20170131_HorseHead-mono_CombSigMed-IPddp-TPadj.jpg

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M82 - The Exploding Cigar Galaxy in Ursa Major 20-Feb-2017

Distance 11.4-12.4 Mly

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 6 - 8 min. exposures at ISO1600. Ambient temp ~42°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 27.9arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 0 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Sigma Clipped Median combined.
Cropped to final dimensions. No downsizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 4.01 pixels, 3.29 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170223_M82_CombSigMed-IPddp-TPadj1-IPadj.jpg

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NGC2903 - Spiral Galaxy in Leo 20-Feb-2017

Distance 30.6 ± 4.6 Mly

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 9 - 8 min. exposures at ISO800. Ambient temp ~53°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 22.5arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque) via BackyardNikon.
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 0 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Sigma Clipped Median combined.
Cropped to final dimensions and resized to 50pct. Final image scale/resolution 0.82 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM: 3.06 pixels, 2.50 arcseconds (per TSXPro ImageLink).

20170220_NGC2903_CombSigMed-IPddpadj-TPadj.jpg

For camera conversion services, i.e., having your DSLR "IR Modded" (IR filter removed), visit Life Pixel Camera Conversion Services here

M1 - The Crab Nebula 25-Jan-2017

Distance 6500 +/- 1600 ly. North is up, east to the left.

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300a (IR-modified). Exposure data: 2 - 8 min. exposures and 5 - 10 min. exposures at ISO800. Ambient temp ~40°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 arc-seconds/pixel (i.e., un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 13.6arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque).
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) (without the Starlight Xpress SXV-AOLF (Adaptive Optics Large Format) device) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 0 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Sigma Clipped Median combined.
Cropped to final dimensions of 2000x2000. No downsizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p.

Seeing: FWHM 6.28 pixels, 2.57 arcseconds

20170125_M001_CombSigMed-IPddpadj-TPadj.jpg

For camera conversion services, i.e., having your DSLR "IR Modded" (IR filter removed), visit Life Pixel Camera Conversion Services here

NGC891 - Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda 26-Dec-2016

Distance 27.3 ± 1.8 Mly

First light after removing the MoonLite Focuser and restoring the 2inch PreciseParts Adapter.

Telescope configuration: Celestron EdgeHD 1100 with the Celestron 0.7x focal reducer (fl=1960mm, f/7.0).
Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Exposure data: 6 - 10 min. exposures at ISO800. Ambient temp ~50°f.
Image capture scale: 0.41 (reduced from 0.43 as/p due to replacing the focuser with the Precise Parts adapter) (un-binned). Field of view (horizontal) = 25.5arc-min. Image capture using TSXPro Camera Add On (Software Bisque).
Mount: Orion HDX110 German equatorial mount. Autoguided with an SBIG Sti autoguider, a Celestron OAG (off-axis guider) (without the Starlight Xpress SXV-AOLF (Adaptive Optics Large Format) device) using PHD2 autoguiding software, not dithered.
Post processing: ImagesPlus 6.5: NEF conversion and calibration, alignment, stacking/combining using 0 dark frames, a 0 bias frame master and 0 flat frames, Min/Max Exluded Average combined. Cropped to final dimensions of 3743x2940. No downsizing. Final image scale/resolution 0.41 as/p).

20161226_NGC891_CombExcAvg-IPddpadj.jpg

For camera conversion services, i.e., having your DSLR "IR Modded" (IR filter removed), visit Life Pixel Camera Conversion Services here

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Featured/Recommended Products


From time to time, we in the Superstition Mountain Astronomical League are frequently asked for recommendations of astronomy related products and services. Our members have an extensive knowledge base and own most of the products featured below.



For camera conversion services, i.e., having your DSLR "IR Modded" (IR filter removed), visit Life Pixel Camera Conversion Services here