Thursday, September 29, 2011

M45 - 9 hours exposure

Data captured almost exactly 1 year ago to the day.  It consists of 3 nights of images, 3 hours each night.  First stack is 3 minute subs, second stack is 5 minute subs, and the last stack is 8 minute subs.  Working a collaborative effort with Sal last year, the 8 minute stack was already processed.  I combined the other two stacks, processed, then layered the new image and the 8 minute data together, making some color balance adjustments manually.  PGC 13696 is just to the right of Electra, at Mag 17.3 which estimates place at 1.4 billion light years distant.  Lots of faint dust around the cluster with so much integration time.  It's not bad flats, that is indeed nebulosity throughout the image.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

25 hours on Orion, reprocessed from last year

Since I've sold all of my gear again, I have nothing better to do than reprocess old data.  This morning I was out for a jog for the first time in ages due to injuries and surgeries.  The entire sky was overcast except for Orion.  I don't know why, but there was some sublime messaging in there which prompted me to revisit my old data.  I was never quite 100% happy with the earlier renditions.  I guess coming back a year later to take a crack at it from a fresh view helped.  This looks better than my prior efforts in my humble opinion.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some manually tracked and manually assembled Lunar Mosaics, Jupiter

As many are aware now, I sold off my deep sky imaging equipment to help out a family in need.  So for the time being, I've been tinkering with an XT6i Dobsonian and a QHY-5 to take a couple of Lunar shots.  Shot an 8 panel mosaic on 09/05/11 an hour before sunset and another this morning, 09/17/11 an hour before sunrise.  Specifics for both images:

Mosaic 1 - 09/05/11
Telescope: Orion XT6i Dob, @ F/8.0 - 1200mm fl
Camera: QHY-5 monochrome, no filters
Acquisition: QGVideo, Gain 15% @ 15fps, 1024x768 ROI, 8 panels
Stacked in AVIStack2, Stitched in Photoshop 7 manually
Marginal seeing conditions, Partly Cloudy skies, 77F
Captured 1 hour prior to sunset
Notes: No post processing other than stitching, no deconvolution

Mosaic 2 - 09/17/11
Telescope: Orion XT6i Dob, @ F/8.0 - 1200mm fl
Camera: QHY-5 monochrome, blue filter
Acquisition: QGVideo, Gain 0% @ 7.5fps, 1280x1024, 8 panels
Stacked in AVIStack2, Stitched in Photoshop 7 manually
Poor seeing conditions, Moderately cloudy skies (thunderstorms in proximity), 55F
Captured 1 hour prior to sunrise
Notes: Mild deconvolution applied, curves adjustment to brighten image slightly.

These will be my last shots with the QHY-5 as I have just sold it as well and shipping it shortly.  These will also be my last astrophography shots for a while.  I won't be replacing any of my imaging gear until I can iron out details shortly about my upcoming relocation to Colorado.  The CFO has already approved the replacement of my gear when I'm ready, but there's no point in rushing it until I know details of "where" I'll be imaging from specifically as it makes a huge impact on what equipment I will go with. 

Links to the high resolution, uncompressed versions:

High Resolution Lunar Image 09/05/11 (click image to enlarge)

High Resolution Lunar Image 09/17/11 (click image to enlarge)

Here are some low-res compressed versions:

Also captured Jupiter, during the Io Transit, and Europa off to the side.  Not real big scale, but I couldn't really push the power up with the terrible seeing conditions.  I caught it between cloud holes and had a whopping 30 seconds of acquisition time.  This is 10 frames stacked @ 1200mm.  = \