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:

M86 (Part of Markarian's Chain)

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: 12 x 60sec @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 12min
Date: 5/13/2004, 1:30am PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat frame, registration and stacking
  • Photoshop: Noise reduction, image scale (1/4 x), JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is a portion of a string of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo known as Markarian's Chain. North is up.

 
NGC 884 & NGC 869 (Double Cluster)
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:

NGC 884 & NGC 869 (Double Cluster)

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: TeleVue #TRF-2008, 0.8x Reducer/Flatener For TV-85 And TV-76
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 480mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/6
Exposure: 13 x 4min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 52min
Date: 11/12/2005 11:06:31 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 NGC 884/869, aka, the Double Cluster in Perseus. This shot was a test of the suitability of the TeleVue 0.8x Focal Reducer/Flatener for use with the Orion ED80 refractor. (Big thanks to Jim Nomura for letting me borrow the TeleVue!) This test was prompted by my disatisfaction with the combination of the ED80 and the Celestron 0.63x reducer which, of course, was never designed to be used with a refractor. (An example of the Celestron can be seen in my latest M31 shot.)

I've added this current shot, and the M31 shot, to my ED80 Reducer Shootout page. Based on this data, the Willam Optics Focal Reducer appears to be the best fit for the ED80. Time to trade in the Celestron. <grin>

Anyway, this shot turned out ok, despite a 91% full moon. And I have very few images of Open Clusters, so I decided to post this one. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.

 
NGC 3521 (Spiral Galaxy)
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:

NGC 3521 (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: 20 x 8min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 40min
Date: 4/19/2006 9:32:52 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, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion
  • Neat Image: Noise reduction

Image Description:

This is NGC 3521, a Spiral Galaxy in the constellation of Leo. Actually, NGC 3521 is more accurately described as a Flocculent Galaxy, due to its short, patchy, spiral arms. An interesting feature of this galaxy is the extensive halo above and below the plane of its spiral arms (ENE to WSW in the image), possibly caused by a past collision between NGC 3521 and another galaxy. The halo might be better resolved had the transparency been a bit better the night this was shot. This sky animation (1059 kB), each frame of which is one of the individual 8min exposures, shows clouds wiping out some of them, and the sky brightness affecting the others.

One of the more interesting features of this shot is that it captures the motion of a 17th-magnitude asteroid, namely, 3085 Donna, visible in the bottom-center of the full-size image (see link below) as a faint streak. This asteroid animation (645 kB) -- a small crop of that bottom-center region at full resolution -- shows the asteroid's movement from frame to frame. Thanks to Colin of the Digital Astro Yahoo Group for noticing the asteroid in my original image!

A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.