SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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NGC 2841 (Spiral Galaxy)

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
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: 26 x 5min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 10min
Date: 4/11/2005 9:35:31 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, flat field, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion
  • Neat Image: Noise attenuation

Image Description:

This is NGC 2841, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. This came out surprisingly well given the awful transparency, and considering that no less than 6 of the 26 frames had airplane trails in them! Amazingly, I was guiding on a double-star and it worked extremely well. Go figure. This is a crop of the full-size frame. North is up.

 
M11 (Wild Duck Cluster)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M11 (Wild Duck Cluster)

Click to see high-res version.

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: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 26 x 20sec @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 8min
Date: 7/21/2004, 12:10am
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat frame, registration, and Kappa-Sigma stacking
  • Photoshop: Sligth crop, image scale (1/4 x), JPG conversion

Image Description:

The Wild Duck Cluster is a fairly interesting Open Cluster (as opposed to a Globular Cluster) in the constellation of Scutum. It makes for a very nice view through the eyepiece of a decent telescope, where, apparently, the stars take on the "V Shape" of a flock of flying ducks. Ummm, yeah.

I was careful in the aquisition and processing chain not to clip (saturate) any of the stars in order to preserve their color. This is a crop of the full size frame. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.

 
PLN85+4.1 (HII Region)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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PLN85+4.1 (HII Region)

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

Image Details:

Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
Scope: AP Starfire 160EDF APO Refractor
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: Astrodon LRGB I-Series Filters
Effective Focal Length: 1200mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.5
Exposure: 9 × 32min @ -20°C (Hα); 8 × 8min @ -20°C (RGB)
Total Exposure: 8hrs, 0min
Date: 7/23/2010 (Hα), 8/4/2010 (RGB)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCD Commander
Focus: FocusMax
Dithering: CCD Commander
Guiding: Self Guided

Processing:

  • IRIS: Registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Dark subtraction, Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Hα and RGB combining, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is PLN85+4.1, an HII region in the constellation of Cygnus. I thought this was a Planetary Nebula, cuz that’s what TheSky said it was, but upon further review and research, including Anthony Ayiomamitis’ excellent image and writeup, it's just a glowing cloud of HII. Oh well. Hα and RGB combined in Photoshop using the “Lighten” method, which worked better than the other methods I tried. Mouse over for the Hα-only version. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.