SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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NGC 2683 (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: 30 x 4min @ ISO 1600
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 0min
Date: 4/10/2005 9:50:00 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 2683, an edge-on spiral galaxy in the constellation of Lynx. I got everything set up and ready to shoot and then the clouds moved in. Thankfully, the clouds parted at about 9:45pm and I had not given up yet. I'm glad I didn't. This is a crop of the full-size frame. North is up.

 
Sunset over the Pacific
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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Sunset over the Pacific

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

Image Details:

Camera: Canon 5D
Mount: None
Scope: Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM lens
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 105mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/8
Exposure: 1/41.5 sec
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 0min
Date: 5/6/2008 8:13 PM PDT
Location: Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: Auto
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • Canon Digital Professional Pro: CR2 to TIF conversion
  • Photoshop: Shadows/Highlights, Levels, Resizing, sRGB color space conversion, JPG Conversion

Image Description:

This is a hurried but nonetheless pleasing shot of the sun setting over the Pacific. This is shot roughly toward Half Moon Bay, which had clearly been socked in by the Marine Layer along with most of the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. This was one of the first shots I captured before the “main event,” which was this shot of Mercury and the Moon setting together over the Pacific. See the writeup on that image for more information on the location from which this is shot. A higher resolution image is also available. Celestial North is as indicated on the mouse-over. Sunset was at a compass heading of WNW that evening.

 
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M13 (Great Cluster in Hercules)
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M13 (Great Cluster in Hercules)

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: 8 × 8min @ -20°C (Lum); {16R, 16G, 16B} × 2min @ -15°C
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 40min
Date: 6/10/2008 11:37 PM; 7/25/2009 11:12 PM (Start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: CCDSoft
Focus: FocusMax
Dithering: None
Guiding: Self Guided

Processing:

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

Image Description:

This is M13, aka, the Great (globular) Cluster in Hercules. I captured the RGB of this image with the TMB 152/1200, and the Luminance about a year later with the AP 160 Starfire EDF. The RGB was taken on a pretty icky night, with FWHMs well over 3”. But the Luminance exposures, taken through the exquisite AP 160, all had sub-2” FWHMs, on a night of fantastic seeing, at least for my location. Some minor DEC backlash adjustments resulted in pretty good guiding too. Note that there is absolutely no sharpening applied to this image. All in all, this is by far my best image of a globular cluster. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.