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!

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M106 (Spiral Galaxy)

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: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 34 x 8min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 4hrs, 32min
Date: 5/8/2007 9:57:31 PM PDT (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
  • PixInsight LE: gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Sharpening, levels, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is M106, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Canis Venatici. M106 is a Seyfert Galaxy, suggesting an active galactic nucleus containing a supermassive black hole. A higher resolution image is also available. North is up.

 
Moon, Saturn, and The Twins
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:

Moon, Saturn, and The Twins

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

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: None
Scope: Canon EF 28mm - 80mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 IV USM lens
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 80mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5.6
Exposure: 8 x 1 sec @ ISO 100; 3 x 1/125 sec @ ISO 100
Date: 1/23/2005, 7:36pm PST
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: RAW Conversion, Registration, Stacking
  • Photoshop: Compositing, Levels, Image Size

Image Description:

This is a widefield shot of a 98.33% full Moon near Castor (upper left), Pollux (lower left), and Saturn (lower-right). Castor and Pollux are the two brightest stars in the constellation of Gemini, The Twins. Mouse-over the image above to see annotations and to see the outline of the Gemini constellation. This is a composite of a stack of 1" exposures for the background stars and Saturn, and a stack of 1/125" exposures of the Moon. Compositing was done in Photoshop. Zenith is up (North is roughly in the direction of the line connecting the Moon to Castor).

 
Mars
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:

Mars

Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k): Color RAW Hack
Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
Scope: TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor
Configuration: Negative Projection (Barlowed)
Additional Optics: TeleVue 5x PowerMate
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 6000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/39.5
Exposure: 256 @ 1/25s, 5fps, gain=0%
Date: 12/21/2007 1:45 AM PST
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: IRIS
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • Registax: AVI Conversion, Registration, Best Frame Selection, Stacking
  • IRIS: Wavelets
  • PhotoShop: Unsharp Mask, JPG Conversion

Image Description:

This is my first planetary image with the new TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor. I used a (also new) 5x PowerMate to crank up the focal length to 6000mm. The 7th of the 15 AVIs I captured this night produced the best stacked image, which is shown above. The other ones had worse seeing, worse focus, or some combination of the above. Interestingly, the insertion of a Baader UV/IR filter yielded a worse result than without it, indicating that the TMB 152/1200 is well corrected into the IR and UV wavelengths. Cool!

This animation consists of 15 frames, each of which is a stack of the "best 128" of the frames in the respective AVI. (Each AVI consists of roughly 1000 frames). Note how bad the seeing gets toward the beginning of the animation. The UV/IR filter is present during the last 5 captures (frames). I refocused after the 5th and before the 6th capture. Note how quickly Mars rotates in this animation, which spans only 1.5 hours of Earth time.

Earth's North is up, which means that Mars' North is leaning roughly 23.5° to the right.