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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

M78 Revisited.

This was one of the first objects I was ever proud of imaging. M78, a reflection nebula in Orion. Check out my attempt from a few years back.

 

This was also the first time in a long time I’ve done proper imaging through the telescope. It feels good to be back for a bit, I love doing timelapses and scenic photography but I think astrophotography is my true love.

M78_LRGB

Image Location and Date: OCA dark sky site in Anza, CA on January 17th 2015
Object: M78
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Orion 8″ f3.9
Imaging FL: 800mm
Imaging focal ratio: f3.9
Imaging camera: Canon 100D (SL1) Modded
Lights: 55x300sec @ ISO 400
Calibration: Darks, flats
Guide scope: 50mm Finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guiding with PHD, captured with APT, processed in PixInsight

 

Rokinon 14mm is perfect for wide field astrophotography

Yes, its very good wide open. With a decent camera (as in low noise as ISO 6400) you can easily expose the Milky Way in 30 seconds. I’ve done plenty of that, I decided to see how good it was stopped down a bit and with a much longer exposure on an iOptron Skytracker.

 

14mm @ f5.6, ISO 3200 240 Seconds

 

winter

NGC2170

Took several days off last weekend and this was my primary goal. What a difficult target! 9 hours is not nearly enough, not to mention I was using my unmodded camera (modded cam needs a new sensor). But I don’t think I’ll get a chance to get more time on this object anytime soon so here is this one for now.

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) unModded
Lights: 111x300sec @ 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

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.

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.

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.

M42 – Great Orion Nebula

Image Location and Date: OCA dark sky site in Anza, CA on January 17th, 2012
Object: Great Orion Nebula
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150mm Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Modified Canon 350D
Lights: 6 x 600sec, 15 x 300sec, 20 x 60sec @ ISO 800 (155 Minutes)
Calibration: Darks
Guide scope: Vixen 8×50mm finder 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.

Helix Nebula from Tierra Del Sol


Image Location and Date: SDAA site @ Tierra Del Sol on September 23rd and 24th, 2011
Object: NGC7293 Helix Nebula
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150 Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: Modified Canon 350D
Lights: 9 x 600sec @ ISO 800 (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
Calibration: None!
Guide scope: Antares 8×50mm finder with Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
Other details: guided with PHD, captured with APT, stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop.

More from Joshua Tree

Sitting at the airport, flight to SFO is delayed, processing some leftover images from last weekend.

Here is the constellation Orion with some clouds in front of it.

Here is a the center of Cygnus with a 70mm lens I found at the swap meet for $15

Still more to come from this session.

Orion Widefield from Joshua Tree

I want to reprocess this once I get my big monitor set up but here it is for now:

60min exposure, 50mm 1.8 ISO 800 Nikon D60 on CG5 Mount

M42 Orion Nebula from Tierra Del Sol

Image Location and Date: SDAA site at Tierra Del Sol on December 24th 2009
Object: M42 Nebula in Orion
Mount: CG5GT
Imaging scope: Omni XLT 150 Newtonian
Imaging FL: 750mm
Imaging focal ratio: f5
Imaging camera: unmodified Nikon D60
Lights: 65 x 30 sec ISO 3200 (32min)
Calibration: None
Guide scope: None
Stacked in DSS processed in Photoshop