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Sunday, December 4, 2016

IC 348

IC 348 

Since it's been cloudy the last few weeks, I decided to reprocess some older data from last year. This is IC 348 in Perseus. 
LRGB image taken with a QHY23M and 11" Celestron EdgeHD w/Hyperstar.

Taken on November 3, 2015, reprocessed with PixInsight

Once I finished the reprocess, I remembered I had new data from this year. I was comparing the two data sets and a noticed a star that had not been in last year's image. Seen in this PixInsight annotated image(Yellow circle)

The "new" data was acquired on November 18,2016 between 9:33-9:46 EST.

I have tried SkyTools, Starry Night and several online resources and cannot identify the object


Thank to a friend on Facebook, the mystery has been solved! 
The object in question is Bononia, a 12.8 magnitude asteroid. This was found by cropping the image and solving for coordinates in Then using , several candidates were found:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

QHY163M Beta Testing

I received a new QHY163 Mono CMOS camera 3 weeks ago. I impatiently waited for the "astropurchase clouds" to clear and finally got first light.

Between clouds, I shot 46- 30 second subs of the Iris Nebula. 30 seconds had the same "pixel stats" of those shot with the QHY23M at 2 minutes.

11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/2, QHY163M

 11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/2, QHY163M

A few nights later I decided to image the Iris again, this time with the Hyperstar off at F/7, for a tighter Field of View.  I also increased the length of the subframes to 2 minutes and took 28 of them, Luminance filtered. I decided to try 2x2 binning of the subframes to increase the resolution. I then added the 28x120 Lum to some older RGB. 
11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/7, QHY163M

My next outing I decided to try some Lunar imaging, also at F/7. The first image I took was a full resolution 4656x3522. I averaged about 16FPS,

Right after that I bumped the frame size down to 800x600 and took the following image at approximately 55 FPS

After the moon had set, I moved on to DSO's My first target was M45. I used 19- 120 second Lum exposures.(no binning)  I added some older color data.
11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/7, QHY163M

My next target was M78. I shot 16-120 second Lum exposures(no bin) and used some older RGB.

11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/7, QHY163M

The last target for the night was the Horsehead Nebula. I took 30-120 second exposures(no bin) and again added older  RGB

 11" Celestron EdgeHD at F/7, QHY163M

 I've owned several QHY  planetary and CCD (DSO) cameras. This is the first camera of mine could do both. It's pixel size is 3.8, which is very close to my former favorite planetary camera, the QHY5L-IIM.
 Each DSO image was shot using a Gain of 10 and Offset of 57. Once I feel comfortable with these settings, I'll try increasing both. I kept the camera cooled to -22F (-30C)
I'm really pleased with the sensitivity of this CMOS camera and cutting my exposure times by 75% or more.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Couple of Recent Images

I haven't "blogged" in quite some time. I've been very busy with getting everything working right in the observatory, now one year old. Recently I broke down and got PixInsight for image pre- & post-processing. All of these images have been in part or completely processed with PixInsight and Photoshop CS6. All images acquired with a 11" Celestron EdgeHD and QHY23M

 VdB 152     2 Panel Mosaic & Crop

Van den Bergh 152 aka The Wolf's Cave is a blue reflection nebula in the constellation of Cepheus. It is roughly 1400 light years away. The dust trailing the nebula is cataloged as Barnard 175. The small nebula(top right) is DeHt5.
11" Celestron EdgeHD w/Hyperstar (F/2)

2 panel mosaic:
Images acquired 9/12, 9/22 & 9/24/16

5h 44min

NGC7380 The Wizard Nebula

NGC7380 The Wizard Nebula is an open cluster in the constellation of Cepheus. It was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787. The surrounding nebula is in the 1959 Sharpless catalog as Sh2-142. It is approximately 8,000 light-years away. 

HST Palette

Ha-(green) 25x300sec (2h 5m)
OIII-(blue) 22x360sec((2h 12m)
SII-(red) 30x420sec(3h 30m)

R/G/B(for stars)- 18x120sec/each(1h 48m)

9h 35m total

11" Celestron EdgeHD w/Hyperstar(F/2)

Taken 8/26,8/30,9/4,9/5

M31 The Andromeda Galaxy

LUM-15x120sec/each panel
QHY23M & 11"Celestron Hyperstar(F/2)

RGB-17x1200sec,, 3 panel mosaic
(5hr. 40min)
QHY10 OSC & AstroTech AT65EDQ

3 panel mosaic (RGB color) added to 12 panel Luminance mosaic

Images acquired with APT(AstroPhotography Tool) and Nebulosity4. Pre-Processed with PixInsight. Post Processing with PS CS6 and PI

Located in the constellation of Andromeda(hence the name :) )this large spiral galaxy is 2.5 million light years away. It can be seen with the naked eye on moonless nights from even moderately light polluted skies. It has been recently estimated to contain nearly 1 trillion stars

IC 5146, the Cocoon Nebula
I started another mosaic project and fell short due to weather. I decided to give "panel#19" a go at processing with Pixinsight. Completely pre-processed with PI, 
Captured 8/4 & 8/8

L-R-G-B filtered image
10x120sec L (planned on 20, but clouds intervened)
12x120sec each RGB

QHY23M, cooled to -20C
11" Celestron EdgeHD w/Hyperstar

IC5146, aka the Cocoon Nebula is a reflection/emission nebula in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. It is approximately 4000 light-years away

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dome update and new images

It's been a busy year so far...

I added a small room and pier to to observatory for my seldom used Orion Sirius mount. The pier is a 10" diameter, 8' long concrete tube. I had a local welding shop make 2 customized plates to adapt the Orion Sirius. I finished the roll off roof project with a very noisy (sorry neighbors) electric winch. I also finished the outside sheeting and trim overall.  

From the small pier/roll off roof:

3 panel mosaic of the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas. Taken with a QHY10 OSC and AT65EDQ. 3x1200s per panel/ 3 hours. I plan a 6 panel LUM mosaic with the QHY23/Hyperstar(the big pier/dome) and will use this as color data

From the dome i simultaneously imaged the Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula is 8 in Charles Messier's "not a comet" list, 25 in the Sharpless catalog and 6523 in the New General Calalog.(NGC) It is a cloud of ionized hydrogen estimated to be 4000-6000 light years from earth. It can be seen with the naked eye as a gray/green patch in the constellation of Sagittarius..Almost in the center of the photo can be seen NGC 6530, an open cluster of young stars formed from material within the nebula. The entire nebula is roughly 110 x 50 light-years wide.This is a LRGB filtered image taken with a QHY23M mono CCD camera and an 11" Celestron EdgeHD w/Hyperstar on May 31 & June 9, 2016

Jupiter on 4/17/16 just before the GRS(Great Red Spot) entered view. 9:00pm EST 1 RGB sequence. approximately 2000 frames each channel, 800 stacked with AutoStakkert2, processed in Registax 6QHY5L-II & 11" Celestron EdgeHD @F/20

And a few solar shots from the small pier

These 2 images were taken on 4/14 & 4/15 both with a Coronado PST and new QHY5P-IIM. 500 frames each, @ 200 stacked in AutoStakkert2, processed in Registax and PS6