SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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Uranus

Image Details:

Camera: Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C9.25-SCT (9.25" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain)
Configuration: Negative Projection (Barlowed)
Additional Optics: TeleVue 2x Barlow
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 4700mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/20
Exposure: 256 @ 10 frames/second
Date: 9/04/2004, 11:40pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Philips VRecord
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

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

Image Description:

This is my first planetary image using a webcam as the imaging platform. We used my CG-5 mount, fellow Saratogan Rich Schuppert's 9.25" SCT as the imaging scope, and my Televue 2x Barlow to increase the effective focal length to roughly 4700mm. Jim Shuder was driving the ToUcam's control panel and capture software. Uranus is a tiny target that reveals little to no detail to even the largest earth-bound telescopes, especially on nights of awful seeing which this night most certainly was. In fact, the Hubble Space Telescope struggles to pull out any detail in "true color" images of Uranus. This was a 2min AVI with 1053 total frames, of which I let IRIS select the best 256 for stacking. The result was slightly better than what Registax was able to accomplish. This is the full-size frame, though I did increase the canvas size in Photoshop to be the same dimensions as my other images. I think North is up but I'm not positive.

 
B33 (Horsehead Nebula)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

Search

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:

B33 (Horsehead Nebula)   [obsolete]

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: 21 x 8min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 48min
Date: 2/21/2006 7:35:35 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: Compositing, Levels, Desumdging, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is B33, aka the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation of Orion. Photos of this stunning object captivated me as a kid, and were among the many things that kindled my interest in astronomy. In that sense, capturing this image is satisfying at a number of levels, even though it could probably use another several hours of exposure. There was a nasty internal reflection from Alnitak that I had to de-smudge-i-fy in Photoshop in order to remove. Not sure what caused it, but it most certainly involves interactions among the Hutech Type I UV/IR block filter, the WO reducer, and the ED80 objective. Time for some science to figure out the culprit.

This is my second attempt at the Horsehead. My previous attempt from last year just ain't all that great. This one is much better. Funny what happens when you triple the effective exposure time. <grin> Mouse-over the image above to see the annotations, and see the link to last year's image for more information about this target. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is left.