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M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy – 3 Panel Mosaic

Haven’t really been able to post in awhile, been working on other projects that are taking up way too much time. Finally got two nights over Labor day weekend. Figured I’d do M31 since its been a long time since I’ve attempted it. I’m imaging at 800mm with a Canon T3 so I had to do three panels to get it all to fit and even then the wispy bits on the edges are cut off. Lots of nasty gradients to deal with on account of lots of high altitude haze. This summer in Socal has been too humid. Only got about two hours per frame over two nights because of the clouds. Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.

Image Location and Date: SDAA club site, Tierra Del Sol.
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ F3.9 Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded and cooled to 12c.
Lights: RGB 25x300sec @ ISO400 per frame (3x)
Calibration: flats, Bias
Guide scope: 60mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight + Photoshop

M16 Eagle Nebula

m16_ha_rgb_large

RGB subs were taken from Grandview Campground in the White Mountains and HA was from my clubs site in Anza.

Image Location and Date: OCA Anza site, Grandview Campground May 25th, 26th and 30th.
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ F3.9 Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded and cooled to 4c.
Lights: RGB 35x180sec @ ISO1600 HA 24x180sec @ ISO1600 Calibration: flats, Bias
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight

M45, the Pleiades from Tierra Del Sol

Got to spend four wonderful nights at my clubs dark site over Thanksgiving break. My main target was NGC2710 but I had to shoot something each night while waiting for the target to rise so why not go for M45 (its been awhile!).

This was shot over four nights and I changed the angle at some point which explains the odd diffraction spikes.

Image Location and Date: SDAA dark site in Tierra Del Sol, CA Nov 28th – Dec 1st
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ F3.9 Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 66x300sec @ ISO 800

Calibration: flats, Bias
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight

Sadr Region, central Cygnus.

What a big difference the CLS filter makes, almost looks like I did hargb. I was lucky enough to get 5 hours on this target from a green zone. DSLR cooler (thanks Stephen!) helped big time with the noise.

Image Location and Date: OCA dark site @ Anza, CA
Object: Sadr and surrounding nebulosity.
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ f3.9 Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 61x300sec @ ISO 1600
Calibration: Darks, flats, Bias
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight.

NGC7023 – The Iris Nebula

Recently took a week off work and since I’m trying not to spend too much money right now I decided to take my vacation at my club’s dark sky site. This is the first of many images I grabbed… nice thing about having six-seven nights to image is that I have no problem focusing on one object per night and therefore get excellent data.

From http://www.astrocruise.com/milky_way/N7023_05.htm

Object Data: Lying in the western part of Cepheus, this beautiful object is a fairly unusual pure reflection nebula, caused by light from the central magnitude 7 star, SAO 19158, being reflected off the abundance of dust particles LBN 487.

Image Location and Date: OCA dark site @ Anza, CA
Object: Cocoon Nebula
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 58x300sec @ ISO 800
Calibration: Darks, flats, Bias
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight.

Cocoon Nebula

Finally got a clear night to image (since I live in socal that means we had some clouds for 2 or 3 day). Temps were very nice for me, not so much for the camera. I need to finish that cooler box!

Image Location and Date: OCA dark site @ Anza, CA
Object: Cocoon Nebula
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ Astrograph
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 28x300sec @ ISO 800
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight.

The Elephants Trunk Nebula

Image Location and Date: SDAA dark site @ Tierra Del Sol, CA
Object: IC1396
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150mm Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: CLS Filter 5x1200sec @ ISO 1600, HA 12nm Filter 13x1200sec @ISO1600
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: 50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PixInsight.

Omega Centauri from Anza, CA

I had gone out to my clubs dark site for several nights to work on a widefield mosaic of the Orion/Gemini area, once that set I had some free time to shot a few objects I’ve always wanted to go for. I noticed Omega Centauri was barely above the mountains to the south around 1 am so I pointed the 6″ and snapped away. Seeing was excellent that night so even though it was very very low the color wasn’t too washed out.

Image Location and Date: OCA dark sky site in Anza, CA on March 22nd, 2012
Object: Omega Centauri
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150mm Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 23x120sec @ ISO 800
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: Tair-3c with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PixInsight + Photoshop for final color adjustment.

Markarian’s Chain

This is always a fun target, good test to see how deep I can push the new camera. Pretty damn deep it looks like! You can easily pick out M 84, Ic 3303, Ngc 4387, Ngc 4388, Ngc 4402 , M 86, Ngc 4407, Ngc 4425, Ngc 4435, Ngc 4438, Ngc 4461, Ngc 4473, Ngc 4477, Ngc 4458, M86, M84, Ic 3393 and Ngc 4479. I need to find some reference material to see how deep I’m getting. I also plan on shooting this area again next month in a mosaic from Tierra Del Sol which is a bit darker than Anza.

Image Location and Date: OCA dark sky site in Anza, CA on February 25th, 2012
Object: Markarian’s Chain in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150mm Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 22x600sec @ ISO 800
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: Tair-3c with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PixInsight + Photoshop for final color adjustment.

M78 – Reflection Nebula in Orion

This sure was challenging! Two out of the three nights I arrived late and couldn’t start work until Orion well into the light pollution of north San Diego county. Taking stuff out of the car, polar alignment, mount alignment, focus and framing really eat up my dark sky time but I don’t have much of a choice when I can’t leave work until five and the dark site is three hours away in traffic. Still worth it!

But because it was setting I had a lot of problems with gradients, very tough to get rid of but I think I did a decent job. I must say, my new 1100d is a fantastic camera! I modified it three days after picking it up.

Processing was a challenge because of the gradients. Pixinsight’s DBE tool got quite a workout but I was careful not to get rid of any of the faint dust and gas that IS actually there. I plan on dishing myself some more punishments by creating a mosaic of this region later in March for an art show I was invited to participate in.

Image Location and Date: OCA dark sky site in Anza, CA on February 17th, 24th and 25th, 2012
Object: M78
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150mm Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) Modded
Lights: 71x300sec @ ISO 1600
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: Tair-3c with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PixInsight + Photoshop for final color adjustment.