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Astro-Imaging Questions  

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  1. 1. What's Your Favorite Solar System Body to Image?



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Lots of clouds and frigid temperatures lately, but I managed to catch a break with clear skies the last two nights.

 

Managed to catch comet 46P/Wirtanen on its way towards perihelion on 12-4. According to CalSky it was at magnitude 6.1, just outside the visual range for most people's eyes. Thought I might have sighted it visually with averted vision, though I was likely seeing the nearby 5th-magnitude stars or fog on my glasses lol.

32314297498_25e4bd592b_k.jpg

Image details:

Spoiler

Gear used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF-S 18-55mm

Acquisition Details:
8x30" sub exposures
ISO 1600
55mm focal length
f/5.6

Processing Details

Lens corrections applied and sub frames converted to lossless TIF using Adobe Camera Raw. Subframes stacked with Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa Sigma Clipping and 2x Drizzle. Color correction, gradient removal, stretching, saturation enhancement and significant cropping done in Adobe Photoshop.

Notes:

Trailing is worse than usual. I was not prepared for the biting cold and the tiny aperture of my wide lens made star-hopping a complete pain. I did not have the patience required to shoot many short exposures to avoid trailing so I shot only a few long exposures just to say that I captured the comet. Now that I've brought the winter clothes out of the closet I should be more prepared to capture a better image when 46P reaches perihelion. (Crossing fingers for a clear night!)

Fullres: https://flic.kr/p/RevdQj

 

 

The next night I was more prepared to shoot in the cold. Some high altitude clouds were blocking Wirtanen so I turned my sights towards Orion. Used my faster, longer focal length lens to try and capture some of the nebulae in the belt and sword regions of Orion. Managed to catch the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), the Running Man (NGC 1977) and the Great Orion Nebula (M42). Thought I might have gotten hints of the Horsehead however it's so faint it's hard to distinguish it from the splotchy artifacts that appear in other low-signal areas.

31262278077_7f501edb38_k.jpg

Image Details:

Spoiler

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF 75-300mm
Mount - Tripod

Acquisition Details:
66x6" sub exposures
6.6 minutes total integration time
75mm focal length
ISO-1600
f/4

Software Used:
Adobe Camera Raw
Deep Sky Stacker
Adobe Photoshop
rnc-colorstretch

Processing Details:
Raw images lens corrected and converted to lossless TIF in Adobe Camera Raw, sub frames then stacked in Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa-Sigma Clipping and 2x Drizzle. Resulting stack was loaded into Photoshop for further correction of chromatic abberation using the "purple fringe killer" action set. Image saved as lossless PNG and sent through Roger Clark's rnc-colorstretch tool. Stretched image was sent to Adobe Photoshop for final color correction, localized saturation enhancement on the nebulae and a 2x crop.

 

Fullres: https://flic.kr/p/PCxm7r

 

 

 

After taking a satisfying amount of images at a wide focal length, I centered my camera on M42 and zoomed to 300mm focal length for some satellite hunting. Geostationary satellites often cross in front of M42 so I took a series of long exposure "star trail" images in an attempt to find some. I managed to find four, along with another sat I couldn't identify.

46151148882_c3de13c9b3_k.jpg

Same as before but in timelapse video format. Includes the unidentified sat:

 

Image Details:

Spoiler

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF 75-300mm

Aquisition:
Single 30" exposure
300mm focal length
ISO-1600
f/5.6

Processing:
Raw converted in Adobe Camera raw. Color correction, levels adjustment and satellite labels done in Adobe Photoshop.

Video timelapse frames exported as image sequence, stitched frames together into an AVI video using VirtualDub. Final presentation done in Sony Vegas.

Misc:
Satellites identified using Stellarium and the UCS Satellite database: https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/space-weapons/satellite-database

 

Fullres Still Image:
https://flic.kr/p/2djdGFu

 

 

Cheers. :)

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8 hours ago, Nutt007 said:

After taking a satisfying amount of images at a wide focal length, I centered my camera on M42 and zoomed to 300mm focal length for some satellite hunting. Geostationary satellites often cross in front of M42 so I took a series of long exposure "star trail" images in an attempt to find some. I managed to find four, along with another sat I couldn't identify.

Those are some great shots of the GEO satellites!

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18 hours ago, Nutt007 said:

Lots of clouds and frigid temperatures lately, but I managed to catch a break with clear skies the last two nights.

 

Managed to catch comet 46P/Wirtanen on its way towards perihelion on 12-4. According to CalSky it was at magnitude 6.1, just outside the visual range for most people's eyes. Thought I might have sighted it visually with averted vision, though I was likely seeing the nearby 5th-magnitude stars or fog on my glasses lol.

32314297498_25e4bd592b_k.jpg

Image details:

  Reveal hidden contents

Gear used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF-S 18-55mm

Acquisition Details:
8x30" sub exposures
ISO 1600
55mm focal length
f/5.6

Processing Details

Lens corrections applied and sub frames converted to lossless TIF using Adobe Camera Raw. Subframes stacked with Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa Sigma Clipping and 2x Drizzle. Color correction, gradient removal, stretching, saturation enhancement and significant cropping done in Adobe Photoshop.

Notes:

Trailing is worse than usual. I was not prepared for the biting cold and the tiny aperture of my wide lens made star-hopping a complete pain. I did not have the patience required to shoot many short exposures to avoid trailing so I shot only a few long exposures just to say that I captured the comet. Now that I've brought the winter clothes out of the closet I should be more prepared to capture a better image when 46P reaches perihelion. (Crossing fingers for a clear night!)

Fullres: https://flic.kr/p/RevdQj

 

 

The next night I was more prepared to shoot in the cold. Some high altitude clouds were blocking Wirtanen so I turned my sights towards Orion. Used my faster, longer focal length lens to try and capture some of the nebulae in the belt and sword regions of Orion. Managed to catch the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), the Running Man (NGC 1977) and the Great Orion Nebula (M42). Thought I might have gotten hints of the Horsehead however it's so faint it's hard to distinguish it from the splotchy artifacts that appear in other low-signal areas.

31262278077_7f501edb38_k.jpg

Image Details:

  Reveal hidden contents

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF 75-300mm
Mount - Tripod

Acquisition Details:
66x6" sub exposures
6.6 minutes total integration time
75mm focal length
ISO-1600
f/4

Software Used:
Adobe Camera Raw
Deep Sky Stacker
Adobe Photoshop
rnc-colorstretch

Processing Details:
Raw images lens corrected and converted to lossless TIF in Adobe Camera Raw, sub frames then stacked in Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa-Sigma Clipping and 2x Drizzle. Resulting stack was loaded into Photoshop for further correction of chromatic abberation using the "purple fringe killer" action set. Image saved as lossless PNG and sent through Roger Clark's rnc-colorstretch tool. Stretched image was sent to Adobe Photoshop for final color correction, localized saturation enhancement on the nebulae and a 2x crop.

 

Fullres: https://flic.kr/p/PCxm7r

 

 

 

After taking a satisfying amount of images at a wide focal length, I centered my camera on M42 and zoomed to 300mm focal length for some satellite hunting. Geostationary satellites often cross in front of M42 so I took a series of long exposure "star trail" images in an attempt to find some. I managed to find four, along with another sat I couldn't identify.

46151148882_c3de13c9b3_k.jpg

Same as before but in timelapse video format. Includes the unidentified sat:

 

Image Details:

  Hide contents

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EF 75-300mm

Aquisition:
Single 30" exposure
300mm focal length
ISO-1600
f/5.6

Processing:
Raw converted in Adobe Camera raw. Color correction, levels adjustment and satellite labels done in Adobe Photoshop.

Video timelapse frames exported as image sequence, stitched frames together into an AVI video using VirtualDub. Final presentation done in Sony Vegas.

Misc:
Satellites identified using Stellarium and the UCS Satellite database: https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/space-weapons/satellite-database

 

Fullres Still Image:
https://flic.kr/p/2djdGFu

 

 

Cheers. :)

Very nice. I manged to get a quick look at 46P Wirtanen on the 15th of November. Hoping for some clear skies here now that it's getting brighter.

OaaFuax.jpg

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On 12/7/2018 at 6:13 PM, Reactordrone said:

Very nice. I manged to get a quick look at 46P Wirtanen on the 15th of November. Hoping for some clear skies here now that it's getting brighter.

-snip-

Great shot!

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:23 AM, cubinator said:

Those are some great shots of the GEO satellites!

Thank you!

 

 

Another, better shot of 46P/Wirtanen taken on 12-11. Was more prepared to shoot in the cold this time. Definitely getting closer and brighter now. Was able to spot it with averted vision on the night I shot this. Last night when I was watching the Geminids with my GF I was able to spot it clearly even with the Moon. Fingers and toes crossed for clear skies and good seeing on the 16th. Weather has taken quite a wintry turn as of late, this might end up being my best shot of comet Wirtanen. On the plus side, taking advantage of every clear sky I get has given me an excuse to try out the new tripod I got for Christmas early. Naughty me. ;)

45597495384_8c1a7a1928_k.jpg

 

Image Details:

Spoiler

Comet Wirtanen approaching perihelion on 12-11. The comet is now naked-eye visible. It's possible to sight it clearly as a faint-fuzzy patch even under a moonlit sky. It stands out ever clearer using averted vision. No visible color yet, though it does show up strongly on long-exposure photographs. The blue-green color is due to strong emission of Cyanogen [ (CN)₂ ] and diatomic Carbon. (C₂)

 

 

Gear Used:

  • Camera - Canon EOS 350D
  • Lens - Canon EF 75-300mm
  • Tripod - Pedco Ultrapod II

 

Acquisition Details:

  • 91x6" sub exposures
  • 9.1 minutes total integration time
  • f/4
  • ISO-1600
  • 75mm focal length

 

Software:

  • Adobe Camera Raw
  • DeepSkyStacker
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5.1

  

Processing Details:

Noise reduction, lens correction and a linear tone curve applied in Adobe Camera Raw. Images converted to lossless TIF format and then stacked in Deep Sky Stacker using Stars + Comet Stacking, Kappa-Sigma Clipping and 2x Drizzle. Final stack sent to Photoshop for gradient removal, color correction and a nonlinear stretch. HLVG plugin was applied on "weak" settings to remove the green cast on some stars, comet was masked so green reduction was less in that area. Image finally had a saturation boost applied and was cropped slightly.

 

Fullres: https://flic.kr/p/2cti5Mw

 

 

Edited by LaydeeDem

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On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 4:16 AM, LaydeeDem said:

-snip-

Beautiful! I managed to acquire some data of the comet yesterday. Now I just might get around to processing it :o

Edited by Adstriduum

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Spoiled myself for my 21st birthday and bought a star tracker. My photos have improved immensely! Only problem is my wide lens has really bad coma. I have to do some heavy cropping to make these look good. I'm hoping purchasing a fast prime lens in the future will fix some of this. Also been playing with the PixInsight trial and holy crap it's powerful! The color calibration and ACDNR tools have allowed me to accomplish a lot more than Photoshop ever allowed. I'll definitely need to buy it when I have the cash!

 

Orion & Friends:

32993623748_e1769ee077_o.jpg

Image details:

Spoiler

Wide angle view of the constellation Orion. Many deep sky objects can be seen in this wide view. Including The Great Nebula (M42) in Orion's sword, the Horsehead (Barnard 33) and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) in Orion's Belt, to the left of Betelguese is the Rosette Nebula (Caldwell 49) in Monoceros, and faint traces of the Witch's Head Nebula (IC 2118) and Barnard's loop can also be seen along with a plethora of dark nebulae.

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens -Canon EFS 18-55mm
Mount - NyxTech NyxTracker

Acquisition Details:
69x60" sub exposures
1h9m total integration time
18mm focal length
f/3.5
ISO-1600

Software Used:
Adobe Camera Raw
Deep Sky Stacker
PixInsight 1.8
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1

Processing details:
Lens-corrected and converted to lossless TIF in Adobe Camera Raw.
Converted TIFs were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa-Sigma Clipping. Stacked image was sent to PixInsight for Background Extraction, ACDNR noise reduction, background neutralization, color calibration and a non-linear histogram stretch. Green cast removed from stretched image using SCNR and a star reduction was done using a Star Mask and MorphologicalTransformation. Final image was saved as lossless TIF and cropped in Adobe Photoshop.

 

The Jewels of Taurus:

33080580798_709987298f_o.png

Image details:

Spoiler

Wide angle view of the constellations Taurus and Perseus. Several deep sky objects can be seen in this image, including the Hyades cluster, the Pleiades and the California Nebula. Also visible are the dark dust lanes of the Milky Way.

Gear Used:
Camera - Canon EOS 350D
Lens - Canon EFS 18-55mm
Mount - NyxTech NyxTracker 2.0

Acquisition Details:
68x60" sub exposures
68 minutes total integration time
18mm focal length
f/3.5
ISO-1800

Software Used:
Adobe Camera Raw
Deep Sky Stacker
PixInsight 1.8

 

Processing details:
Lens-corrected and converted to lossless TIF in Adobe Camera Raw.
Converted TIFs were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker using Kappa-Sigma Clipping. Stacked image was sent to PixInsight for Background Extraction, ACDNR noise reduction, background neutralization, color calibration and a non-linear histogram stretch. Green cast removed from stretched image using SCNR. Cropped using DynamicCrop and saved as lossless .png.

Also got up early to capture Venus and Jupiter in conjunction on 1/16. Lots of ice particles in the air. Caused oval coronae around both and it started snowing! :o

46764500991_d0bc02fef8_o.jpg

45849378895_9a13516ece_o.jpg

 

That's it for now. Clear skies everyone. :)

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Posted (edited)

A few days ago i participated in a guided tour around the observatory here.

Before i thought that dark- and bias frame subtraction was mainly an amateur thing, because of the lower quality sensors and electronics. Wrong. The professionals do the same thing. Biggest difference, especially for infrared imaging, is the sensor temperature and shielding, e.g. from thermal radiation from the housing/cupola. While an amateur sensor can be cooled to -20 to -40°C below ambient, they cool their sensors down to ~70K (~ -200°C). Liquid Helium is a cost factor ...

Brrrrr ... sniff :-)

 

Edited by Green Baron

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3 hours ago, Green Baron said:

A few days ago i participated in a guided tour around the observatory here.

Before i thought that dark- and bias frame subtraction was mainly an amateur thing, because of the lower quality sensors and electronics. Wrong. The professionals do the same thing. Biggest difference, especially for infrared imaging, is the sensor temperature and shielding, e.g. from thermal radiation from the housing/cupola. While an amateur sensor can be cooled to -20 to -40°C below ambient, they cool their sensors down to ~70K (~ -200°C). Liquid Helium is a cost factor ...

Brrrrr ... sniff :-)

 

The neighbours might complain if you have a pulse tube cryocooler running overnight.

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1 hour ago, Reactordrone said:

The neighbours might complain if you have a pulse tube cryocooler running overnight.

Its a telescope. No vibrations. A softly humming pump circulates the helium.

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Posted (edited)

The Moon passing by Venus 3-3-19

2otP5TG.jpg

And a little Earthshine the same morning,

jlcWeoQ.jpg

 

And the Moon near Saturn the previous morning,

G5CvA4u.jpg

Composite image to allow correct exposure of Saturn.

Edited by Reactordrone

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Summer skies are finally coming back! \o/

 

Stayed up til dawn to get the Milky Way about 2 weeks ago.

47288587631_8634450af9_o.png

 

I forgot how dang bright the MW is. You do NOT need a lot of integration time to get a good image of it! The above is a stack of 2x60" exposures.

Image Details

Spoiler

Gear Used:
Canon 350D
Canon EFS 18-55mm
NyxTech NyxTracker

Acquisition Info:
2x60" sub exposures
ISO 1600
f/3.5
18mm focal length

Software Used:
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1
-DeepSkyColors HLVG plugin
PixInsight

 

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Nicely done !

Sagittarius and the galactic centre rise pretty high here at 28°N. Let's compete in spring/summer ;-)

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't know much about astrophotography, but I tried my hand at taking a photo of the moon for a school art project.LS2ZY6E.jpg

It's not the greatest quality (certainly doesn't hold a candle to the amazing stuff in this thread!), but for a first try I don't think it's too bad. I might invest in a slightly better set up in future.

Edited by Ol’ Musky Boi

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Posted (edited)

Hello fellow astrophotographers! :) It's quite some time (about a year) that I don't post any of my pictures here. Not that I've been inactive... quite the opposite, I have 18 new pictures and many of the old ones have been reviewed. Let's star with a couple I took in May last year, I hope you like them!

NGC 5963, NGC 5965 and other galaxies in Draco (14,2 Hours integration)

MG2T1Yn.jpg

 

The Draco Triplet - NGC 5985, NCG 5982, NGC 5981 and other galaxies (15,3 Hours integration)

qV53izF.jpg

 

A pic of my gear from about a week ago, since last year in August  I got a new focuser, bought a DEC counterweight and I upgraded the handles of my mount:

vhO99Hd.jpg

Edited by Epox75

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Posted (edited)

Eta Carina. Canon 500D with 250mm lens on Meade LXD55 mount. Seven, 3min subs stacked.

ZxWhMJh.jpg

Edited by Reactordrone

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Posted (edited)

Today I've been awarded with the Image of the Day on astrobin! Yay!!!

get.jpg?insecure

Edited by Epox75

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Posted (edited)

Whew it's been a while! I promise I'm not dead. Just been really busy. Not a lot of time to play KSP let alone get out and shoot :(

 

That said I have been enjoying the return of the summer skies. Even ordered a new lens for Milky Way season, it hasn't arrived yet though.

 

The Great Rift:

 

The Great Rift

 

The Great Rift is an area of dark bands stretching from the constellation Cygnus to the constellation Centaurus. They are thought to be clouds of interstellar dust in our galaxy's spiral arms.

Two satellites can be seen crossing the sky in this mosaic. The first (bottom left) is likely USA 182 aka Lacrosse 5, a radar reconnaissance satellite and the second (center) is likely a spent stage from the Soviet Zenit-2 rocket that launched Cosmos 1697, a Tselina-2 radio surveillance satellite.

 

Info and Fullres:

Spoiler

Gear Used:
Canon 350D
Canon EFS 18-55mm
NyxTech NyxTracker

Acquisition Info:
6 panel mosaic
1x60" sub exposures per panel
6 min total integration time
ISO 1600
f/3.5
18mm focal length

Software Used:
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1
PixInsight

Notes:
-A sliver of the bottom-right corner is cloned data.

 

https://flic.kr/p/RAVphM

 

May 14 Daytime Moon:

Moon 5-14-19

https://flic.kr/p/2fViZAK

Daytime view of the waxing gibbous moon from 5-14. Visible towards the lunar terminator is the Moon's "golden handle", caused by mountain peaks on the western end of Sinus Irdium being illuminated by sunlight. Stack of ~14 individual frames. Stacked using AutoStakkert! 2 with 1.5x drizzle and sharpened using RegiStax. Taken with a Canon 350D with a 75-300mm lens at f/11. Proof you don't need a lot of aperture to squeeze some detail out of the Moon!

 

And best for last, a nice zoomed in view of the Milky Way Core from a few nights ago. My first attempt doing RAW conversion for astrophoto work in RawTherapee! I love the control it gives me.

Milky Way Core Widefield:

Milky Way Core Widefield

 

Annotated Version:

Spoiler

Milky Way Core Widefield (Annotated)

 

 

 

Image Info:

Spoiler

The central region of the Milky Way at the intersection of Sagittarius, Ophinicus and Scorpius.

Gear Used:
-Camera: Canon EOS 350D (APS-C)
-Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm
-Mount: Nyxtech NyxTracker

Aquistion Details:
15x42" sub exposures
10.5 min total integration
ISO-1600
f/4.5
35mm focal length

Software Used:
RawTherapee
DeepSkyStacker
Pixinsight 1.6
rnc-colorstretch
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1
-HLVG Plugin

 

Edited by LaydeeDem

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Posted (edited)

Do you suppose I can catch a GEO-ish sat with my phone? Gorizont 25 might transit Jupiter tonight, about 39690 km away.

Edited by cubinator

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