SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M8/M20 (Widefield)

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Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Canon Rebel XT (350D): Hutech Type I Filter Replacement
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 200mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/2.8
Exposure: 16 x 4min @ ISO 200
Total Exposure: 1hrs, 4min
Date: 8/23/2005 9:07:47 PM PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

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

Image Description:

This is "First Light" for my brand-spanking-new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (350D), modified by Hutech to remove Canon's standard "IR Blocking" filter which, unfortunately, blocks a lot more than Infrared. In particular, it blocks much of the Hα wavelength, that deep red color found in emission nebulae et. al., which is so prominent throughout the universe. This Hutech mod is a replacement of that standard filter with their Type I astronmical filter which only blocks IR and UV but lets the Hα wavelength pass. The camera was a 40th Birthday present from my dear wife, Lyena. She totally rocks!

Anyway, this is a well-traveled field in Sagittarius containing two of the showcase Messier objects of summer: M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula), plus the NGC 6559 Region that Rich and I recently shot with his modified 300D. Moonrise limited the exposure time to just over an hour. More would have been better, but the reality is that this was just a test shot to make sure all of the hardware and software was functioning. This is the full frame, shrunk for display on the web. A full resolution image is also available. North is right.

 
Saturn
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

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Saturn   [obsolete]

Image Details:

Camera: Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Eyepiece Projection
Additional Optics: University Optics 7mm HD Ortho
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 6000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/30
Exposure: 256 frames @ 1/25s, 10fps, gain=49%
Date: 1/28/2005, 11:36pm PST
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Philips VRecord
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Registration, best-frame selection, stacking, color alignment, wavelet processing, white balance
  • Photoshop: Levels, image size, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is my second decent planetary image using a webcam as the imaging platform. This is roughly the same ocnfiguration I used in this shot with the ED80, except this time I used the 8" Newtonian as the scope. Seeing was pretty fair to average the night this was taken, and the clouds poured in before I could collect enough frames. Need to try again on a night of better seeing. North is up.

 
NGC 7008 (Planetary Nebula)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!

Links:

NGC 7008 (Planetary Nebula)

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

Image Details:

Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Mount: Takahashi NJP
Scope: Takahashi Mewlon 180
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: Astrodon LRGB I-Series Filters
Effective Focal Length: 2160mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/12
Exposure: L: 6 × 16min (1×1); RGB: 6 × 4min (3×3)
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 48min
Date: 9/4/2007 11:25pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCDSoft
Focus: CCDSoft
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: Self Guided

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, LRGB combine, ASINH stretching
  • CCDSharp: Richardson-Lucy deconvolution
  • Photoshop: cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is NGC 7008, a planetary nebula n the constellation of Cygnus. Love the purple hues in this nebula, a color that is relatively rare in deep space objects. This is an LRGB composite, with the Luminance binned 1×1 and the color data binned 3×3. A higher resolution image is also available. North is up.