SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

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SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

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Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!

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M17 (Omega Nebula)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M17 (Omega Nebula)   [obsolete]

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: 30 x 1min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 30min
Date: 7/12/2004, ~11pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

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

Image Description:

Yet another stunning object in the "summer" Milky Way. This is the Omega Nebula (aka Swan Nebula) in the constellation of Sagittarius. This is a Sigma stack of the best 30 of the 42 frames (the remaining 12 showed trailing/smearing due to tracking error). I cranked up the red a bit in Photoshop to compensate for the Digital Rebel's poor sensitivity to Hα, the main wavelength emitted by nebula such as this one. The real solution to this problem is to hack apart the camera and remove the IR filter ... in other words, destroy the camera. No thanks. North is up.

 
M13 (Great Cluster in Hercules)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M13 (Great Cluster in Hercules)

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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.