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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

M16 Eagle Nebula Experiment

One of my favorite summer targets has been the  Eagle Nebula or Messier 16 (M16). This was one of the first targets I can remember seeing images of  from the Hubble Space Telescope, the "Pillars of Creation" Detailed information on the Eagle can be found on Wikipedia :

Over the past 3 years I've imaged M16 with 4 different camera and 3 different telescopes, due to upgrades in gear. Since it's been mostly cloudy, yesterday I decided to collect and combine all my images into one .

My oldest image used was taken with 2 DSLR cameras and my Orion ED102T, Sept 2012

 Ha(Hydrogen-Alpha 7nm)- 8x600 iso 800 modified Canon T3
OIII(Oxygen III 7nm)-12x600 iso 800 Canon T3i
SII(Sulfur II 7nm)-11x600 iso 800 modified Canon T3

I really liked the color blend from this image, so I incorporated it into the new image.

In August 2013 I shot a few subframes with my Astro-Tech AT65EDQ and QHY9M camera.

Ha 2x30 minute                                                            OIII 2x30 min

 These frames were also used in yesterday's image

In May 2014, I had taken a close up image with my relatively new 11" Celestron EdgeHD and QHY23M camera.
This image consists of a single 10 minute image shot through 3 filters: Hydrogen-Alpha, Oxygen III and Sulfur II. This image makes up the "core" of the newest image.

On July 17,2014 I managed only 3- 10 minute frames taken through a red filter. Taken with the QHY23M & Astro-Tech AT65EDQ. This image was also used, to "tame" the final image

After combining the above 5 images using various techniques in Photoshop, this was the result:

And after cropping and tweaking even further, this is the final result

There's not a ton of data in this image, every year I seem to come up short due to weather. In a nutshell there is only 6 hours worth of images here, collected over 3 years. The individual subframes from each image were not stacked together, just blended in Photoshop CS6.
 I just hope to someday have a string of good weather and put together a good image of M16 using the same telescope & camera!
But I am pleased with this result, considering my first image of M16 taken Sept 16,2011:

I have a larger version of the new image on Astrobin, (still in .jpg format however)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July Imaging

June 30,2014

Imaged a quick 3 panel mosaic of the moon using my Orion ED102T 102mm refractor @F/7, QHY5L-II mono w/ red filter
(telescope shown here with QHY9M & filterwheel)

July 1,2014

NGC6960 The Witch's Broom +
 Red- 3x600 (1x1 bin)
 Green- 3x600 (1x1 bin)
 Blue- 3x600 (1x1 bin)
 Ha- 3x900 (1x1 bin)
 OIII-3x900(1x1 bin)

"Starless" Version
"HST Palette"

These images show the "Witch's Broom" or NGC 6960, the western part of the Veil Nebula complex in the constellation of Cygnus. These are remnants of a supernova explosion that occurred some 5,000-8,000 years ago. The entire complex now covers nearly 3 degrees of the sky or roughly 6 times the size of the full moon. Astronomers estimate the Veil Nebula is 1470 light years away.

 July 12,2014

It was clear long enough to image a few frames of the Sun with my Coronado PST and QHY5L-II camera. A large detached prominence can be seen on the right of both images.

Orion ED102T(the black refractor) with Coronado PST(gold refractor) piggybacked

Celestron 11" Edge HD with AT65EDQ piggybacked