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Monday, November 24, 2014

One Great Night of Astrophotography!

It's really hard sometimes to image during a weeknight if I have a full workload the next day. I still do, but I prefer imaging on weekends (I can sleep in!) Friday (11/21/14) was one of those great nights....

I started by collecting Luminance filtered images of M45, the Pleiades. In my last post, I had already done M45.   http://astrochuck.blogspot.com/2014/11/hyperstar-imaging.html

 My intention was to capture more of the surrounding dust with a mosaic. Each panel was hand assembled in Photoshop CS6.  The entire image is 2.54x2.29 degrees of the sky. It originally measured 6286x5819 pixels and was 209MB!

6 panels- 7x60 seconds for Luminance, 5x60 seconds through each RGB filter.


6 Panel Luminance Layer-   (42 minutes total)

 
6 Panel Mosaic with RGB (2h 12m total)

 A project like this would have taken me several clear nights to complete and close to 24 hours in images, pre-HyperStar.  This accessory has been one of the best AP purchases I've made!  A little over 2 hours for a 6 panel mosaic!

Annotated version on Astrometry   http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/454364#annotated


I moved from the 6 panel mosaic to NGC2264, the Cone Nebula. 17x60 seconds for Luminance, 15x60 each through RGB filters. 1h 2m total


Original image cropped



I ended the "great night of astrophotography" at 3am. I had 192 images to process.....I didn't want to overdo it :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hyperstar Imaging

When I chose the 11" Celestron EdgeHD in the spring I had a HyperStar conversion in mind. Well I received and installed my HyperStar about one month ago......



 
 
I had been using the Edge at a focal ratio of F/7. The HyperStar converts the setup to F/2, making image acquisition at least ten times faster. My first test image was IC1805, the Heart Nebula, done with narrowband filters. Prior to the HyperStar, narrowband images took upwards of 20-30 minutes per subframe. In the following image I used 5 minute subframes
 

Telecope:11" Celestron EdgeHD+HyperStar (F/2)
Mount: CGEM-DX
Camera: QHY23M CCD

HA- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as green channel
OIII- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as blue channel
SII- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as red channel

2h 30m total

IC1805 aka the Heart Nebula is an emission nebula located in the constellation of Cassiopeia about 7500 light years away.
In the center of this image is a "knot" known as Melotte 15. I imaged this region using this telescope at F/7 resulting in a smaller FOV seen here: flic.kr/p/p8BWvp


The next image I chose was IC410, the Tadpole Nebula. I shot this the same night as IC1805.

Telecope:11" Celestron EdgeHD+HyperStar (F/2)
Mount: CGEM-DX
Camera: QHY23M CCD
 
HA- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as green channel
OIII- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as blue channel
SII- 10 subframes x 300 seconds each- mapped as red channel
 
2h 30m total
 
IC 410 is an emission nebula located in the constellation of Auriga. It is located 12,000 light years away.
The "Tadpoles" are the two knots of nebulosity seen in the center of the image, seen closer in this rotated & cropped image
 
 
My last image this month was a "hybrid" of sorts. I previously had taken many images of M45, the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus. I shot 30 subframes each 1 minute long using a Luminance filter with the HyperStar. I used this new Luminance layer with RGB from those previous images.
 
 
Telecope:11" Celestron EdgeHD+HyperStar (F/2)
Mount: CGEM-DX
Camera: QHY23M CCD
 
LUM- 30x60
 
RGB from AT65EDQ & QHY9M. 4x300 each color filter, binned 2x2 taken Aug/Sept 2013