Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pacman Nebula NGC 281

Pacman Nebula NGC281
Taken in Cathedral City, CA

90/500 Refractor
2" Astro-Tech Field Flattener
Canon 450d modded
Baader 495nm Longpass filter
Astronomik CLS CCD Clip Filter
Celestron AVX Mount

10 Hours total exposure time
66 Lights varying 7-19 minute exposures at iso 200-400
60 Darks
40 Flats
80 Bias
Stacked in DSS, edited in CS6

Pacman Nebula NGC 281

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Triangulum Galaxy M33

Triangulum Galaxy M33
Taken over 2 nights at Lake Cuyamaca, CA

90/500 Refractor
2" Astro-Tech Field Flattener
Canon 450d modded
Baader 495nm Longpass filter
Astronomik CLS CCD Clip Filter
Celestron AVX Mount

5 Hours total Exposure Time
20x900s ISO 800 Lights
11 Darks
43 Flats
30 Bias

Stacked in DSS, edited in CS6

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 3 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is cataloged as Messier 33 or NGC 598, and is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel Galaxy, a nickname it shares with Messier 101. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, behind the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.

Triangulum Galaxy M33

Triangulum Galaxy M33

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Eastern Veil Nebula NGC 6992

The Veil nebula has been my deep sky subject for the past month, and I'm finally done with the eastern portion. The desert heat and humidity we've had recently did not help at all, but us desert rats find ways to overcome this every summer. 

Next up is the western portion of the Veil nebula, which contains NGC 6960 the Witches Broom Nebula. I'm hoping to get the western side done before the end of the month.

NGC6992 Eastern Veil Nebula
taken in Cathedral City, CA
5h40m total exposure time
61 lights 4,5, and 6 minute exposures
48 darks
64 flats
80 bias
Stacked in DSS

The Eastern Veil Nebula NGC 6992

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak 4-1-17

This was my first attempt at imaging a comet, and after tons of research online I was actually able to pull off some interesting images, and even a video of its movement. Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak was not showing any signs of a tail, at least for now. The comets closest approach to the Sun is on April 12 2017, and it might start showing signs of a tail around then. Unfortunately, this comet is not really a naked eye object, and was even hard to spot in binoculars under our light polluted valley. This is why it's important to always turn off unnecessary lights at night, and if at all possible use lighting that does not pollute our night skies.

There are various ways to post process a set of comet images, one way stacks the comet and leaves the stars to trail. The other way is to stack the stars and the comet, which leaves you with a nice comet and a fairly clean star field in the background.

This was taken on 4-1-17 in Cathedral City, CA
Orion ST80
Canon 450d
Celestron AVX Mount
ASI120MC-s Guide Camera
Astromania 60mm Guidescope

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak
 Comet with trailing stars

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak
 Comet and corrected star field
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak
Inverted view


video
Inverted timelapse video, about 2 hours

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cigar Galaxy (M82), Bode's Galaxy (M81)

Bode's galaxy (M81) is a large bright spiral galaxy located approximately 11.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. The Cigar Galaxy (M82) can be found right next to M81 and resembles a cigar of sorts. This pair of galaxies look amazing next to each other, and the differences between them is striking. NGC3077 completes this trio of galaxies, but is more of a faint blob compared to its neighbors. I took these over a 3 week period in by backyard in Cathedral City California.

Equipment used:
Celestron Nexstar 6se
6.3 focal reducer
AVX Mount
Canon 450d 600s iso800
Orion skyglow filter

6 hours total exposure time

Bode's Galaxy M81

Cigar Galaxy M82

Here are the 2 images stitched together, creating a wider field of view. I also was able to add some H-Alpha data to M81 which gives it a bit more color


This next image was taken with a Orion ST80 which has awider field of view and shows all 3 galaxies 
Orion ST80
AVX Mount
Canon 450d 300s iso800
Orion skyglow filter


Moon Craters taken 3-8-17

I snapped an image of Clavius (crater) and Longomontanus (crater) the other night. The seeing was amazing, and the images show all kinds of detail.

Celestron Nexstar 6se
Celestron AVX Mount
ASI120MC-S Camera
Taken in Cathedral City, CA

 Clavius (crater)


Longomontanus (crater)

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

The other night I was out in the backyard imaging Jupiter and decided to make a rotation video of the planet. I ended up with 2 separate videos because the seeing changed and I had to reduce my magnification a bit. The end results turned out pretty good though!

These were made up of individual images taken every so often between 11pm and about 3am, so around a 4 hour period of rotation.

Celestron Nexstar 6se
Celestron AVX Mount
ASI120MC-S Camera
Taken in Cathedral City, CA

video


video


Here is a couple still images from the videos:

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

Jupiter rotation video 3-8-17

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jupiter 2-1-17

Finally, Jupiter is back in the night sky! Oh, how I have missed this beautiful gas giant of a planet. As much as I enjoy imaging deep sky objects, my first love will always be planetary imaging. There is just something about imaging our local neighbors that puts me in a wonderful mood. Watching Jupiter rotate throughout the night is a sight to behold, and for such a large planet it does so about every 10 hours as opposed to our 24 hour Earth rotation. This means I can watch the great red spot on Jupiter slide across the surface in a matter of hours, and I can even see the movement of its 4 brighter moons. The black dot you see in the image is a shadow transit of Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons.

P.S. This is my best image of Jupiter...so far

Technical details:
9,000 frames de-rotated in Winjupos
Stacked in Autostakkert2
Sharpened in Avistack2 and PS
Celestron Nexstar 6se telescope + 2x Barlow + 24mm eyepiece and extension tube
Celestron AVX Mount
Asi120mc-s camera

Jupiter 2-1-17