Sunday, January 26, 2014

Working on Stacking Technique

Nothing really spectacular tonight as clouds started to come in but with 3+ days of winter weather coming my way I thought that I would at least try some exposures and work on my stacking technique.

My hope was to take 40 - 15 sec exposures at ISO 3200 at f/5.6 with my 250mm zoom on a Canon T2i piggy backed on my old Celestron C8. I was hoping to get a little more of blue veil nebulosity around the stars in the Pleiades but had to really push it in post processing to get what little I did. Oh, well, better luck, er, technique next time

Then I turned my attention towards Orion's Sword but this time with 15 sec exposures at ISO 1600, f/5.6, 250 mm, Canon T2i...etc. Though I took 40 exposures, I lost over 15 due to clouds slipping in. Bummer. I'll have to wait for a few days to try again. Once again I had to push the post processing beyond what I really wanted.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Captured my first supernova tonight! notified us that a white dwarf star had just gone supernova in the "Cigar" galaxy (M82, which is near the bowl of the Big Dipper). So I found it and here it is! The supernova star is the one inside the right hand part of the galaxy.

Here is a wider angle view of the area that also includes Bode's Galaxy (M81, below the Cigar Galaxy). You will also notice in the lower left hand corner a fuzzy patch of bluish light.That happens NOT to be a comet (as I erroneously stated in this photo) but another galaxy known as NGC 3077.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Some improvement on my astrophotography...I think!

I pushed the limits of my Canon T2i by taking five 10 second shots of the Great Orion Nebula at 12,800 iso, prime focus on my original Celestron C8 and stacking the shots with Lynkeos.
The first I made gray-scale to bring out more detail.
 This one I keep in color, but as you can see, there was extreme color distortion due to the high ISO setting. Still it captured more nebula detail than my previous attempt.
And then I attempted to photograph Jupiter again...nothing special, a stack of six 10 second shots with Lynkeos and a lot of post-processing. A lot of work to do to get a more detailed image than this!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Astrophotography even when there's a full Moon !

I think I am improving my technique and shooting under a full Moon certainly is a challenge!
This was at prime focus with a Celestron 8 and a Canon T2i, with post-processing.

I caught Europa (light dot on the left rim of Jupiter) casting its shadow (the dark dot) on Jupiter while the Great Red Spot moved into view (lower right). Awesome!
This last one was taken with a 640x480 movie mode in the Canon T2i, with eyepiece projection and a 2x doubler for good measure!

At 21 degrees, I finally decided to call it a night...I think!

Nope, I even tried capturing the Orion Nebula...under a full Moon!
Taken with 6 shots of 10 seconds each at ISO 1600, prime focus, Celestron 8, Canon T2i
Stacked with Lynkeos.

What a marvelous creation of God!

Monday, January 13, 2014

First effort to capture the Red (more like orange) Spot on Jupiter tonight!

Using the video capture on my Canon T2i in the 640x480 mode and using eyepiece projection (18mm) on my Celestron C8 under poor viewing conditions:
I will continue to improve my technique and hope for better weather next time!

Improving My Astro Photographic Techniques

Even with bad seeing (lots of atmospheric interference) I was able to get better photos of the Moon, Jupiter tonight!

First, the full moon (or nearly so) is the hardest subject to photograph as it has low contrast to begin with. But with HDR and some post-photoprocessing I was able to come up with this at prime focus with my old trusty Celestron C8:

 Then I turned my attention to the large crater (Tycho) with the extensive rays and using a technique called "eyepiece projection" and post-processing...

Then I turned my attention to this portion of the Moon, again with "eyepiece projection." There was the slightest color in this shot...
Finally, I attempted some really close ups of the lower part of the previous view using video (640x480) and processing it with Lynkeo:
 And from the upper left hand side of the top photo:
All in all not too bad for using the computer linked directly to my Canon T2i !
It's the only way to go!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Solar imaging with modded ETX-60

Here is my first effort at photographing the Sun spot area AR1944 on January 6, 2014 around noon that day. It was very hazy and only managed to get a mostly clear shot.

ETX-60 modded
Canon T2i
2X Barlow
350 mm (before Barlow)
f/5.6 (before Barlow)
ISO 800
1/4 sec shutter speed
Some post-processing done

So course, NEVER look at the Sun thru any telescope or binocular as it will ruin your sight!
If you don't know what you are doing, DO NOT ATTEMPT this!

HOW I did it:
 I had some solar eclipse viewers for naked eye use that I cut the filter out of and secured to the plastic cap on the ETX-60 after I cut a 1/2 inch hole into the cap.
Here's the whole set up:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Early Moon Shots

Canon DSLR T2i
Celestron 8 f/10
Prime Focus
ISO 400
1/50 sec shutter speed

Saturday, January 4, 2014

First attempt at photographing Jupiter

Nothing special here except that it is my first attempt.
Had some difficulty getting a sharper focus.
Need to work on that.
Jupiter was about 50 degrees above the north eastern horizon.
Would have been better later on when it would be overhead.
Seeing was unsteady at best.

January 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm PST
ISO 100
1/15 sec
Prime focus
Celestron C8
Cropped images, actual size
Canon T2i
First image is a single exposure, the second is stacked with Lynkeos (first attempt at this too)