SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M65 (Part of the Leo Triplet)

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 100mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: ~14min @ ISO 800 and 1600
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 14min
Date: 5/8/2004 11:20:54 PM PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, and stacking
  • JimP: White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Neat Image: noise reduction
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, scale, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This was an attempt at capturing the Leo Triplet. By confusing my directions I managed to frame this wrong and capture only M65 (right) and M66 (left). NGC 3628, the third in the Triplet, will have to wait for another day. North is up, though I really wish I would have realized this simple fact at the time. D'oh!!!!

Update 3/18/2005: This is a reprocessed stack of a hodgepodge of frames and exposures ranging from 30sec to 2min at ISO 800 and 1600. Amazingly, IRIS was able to scale, translate, and rotate all of these frames in order to align them, even though their intersection was only a tiny fraction of the entire sensor's range. Way to go IRIS! Obviously, this image needs much more exposure to bring out the faint spiral arms of these galaxies. And, since the framing was all messed up, most of the frames were captured in the "severe coma" portion of the field, which is why the stars show significant signs of coma. But as my first DSO image with the 300D, this ain't too shabby!

 
IC 1848 (Soul Nebula)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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Latest news

December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!

Links:

IC 1848 (Soul Nebula)

Mouse-over to see annotations. (Requires Javascript) Click to see high-res version.

Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Canon Rebel XT (350D): Hutech Type I Filter Replacement
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Orion ED80 (80mm f/7.5 APO Refractor)
Configuration: Focal Reduced
Additional Optics: William Optics 2" APO 0.8x Reducer/Field Flattener
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 480mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/6
Exposure: 23 x 8min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 3hrs, 4min
Date: 12/5/2005 10:06:54 PM PST (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: GADFly 1.0.5
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is IC 1848, aka, the Soul Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Like others, I think this object's shape is more reminiscent of a fetus, or even of the Star Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This image is "first light" with the William Optics focal reducer, which appears to be the best match for the ED80 as determined by my ED80 Focal Reducer Shootout. I'd say it does a mighty fine job.

This image isn't bad, but could probably use more exposure. It dawned on me only after the fact that 3hrs of f/6 is equivalent to only 2hrs at f/5. Another night perhaps. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.