Not yet posted on my blog, but certainly one of my best, this image of The Pacman nebula was a long project. Eight nights in 3 months were used for this image. Nineteen hours of exposure revealed these nice colors! Now not being able to image almost 3 months due to bad weather, this seems like ages ago. In March though, there is a astro-vacation to be held in the south of France. I sure hope to get some clear nights there!
Got a grip on 168P/Hergenrother on the Oktober 9th 2012, when a small burst brightened its appearance in that week. 2 photos: one stacked on the comets “head” and one on the stars, showing its rapid movement at the sky. Some images available on the web showed a streamer, but it doesn’t show up on my images. All shot in Luminance only. 30 Images of 100 seconds are used.
Not imaged that often! Mainly maybe cause eye catcher M13 is not to far away. But long exposures reveal a fair amount of stars in M92, making it a beautiful globular cluster! The dense, bright inner core is not processed to get these stars visible individually. Could have done that, I took the underexposed subs for it, but it takes that snappy look away. I therefor didn’t bother correcting that. I hope you forgive me! :)
For some reason I never captured this nice nebula (actually a planetary nebula) before. I guess I’m not into those small objects. But extending my focal length with the purchase of my RC gives this nebula a better look from “nearby”. A larger magnification if you like.
Anyway, I’m really impressed with the result, also showing a lot of very faint galaxies in the backdrop. Like : 1 !
As you probably know, I totally remodeled my 10″ GSO RC into a truss version. The day the OTA arrived at my place, the saw went into it’s nice spotless white tube. I ended up with this prototype on the 21st of April, 2010:
This is the final version displayed at my observatory section. (photo taken first of June 2010)
I was then surprised to find out that this scope came out at the end 2011:
I know I shared some pictures of it but……
Do I have to feel honored? I’m not sure……
Nothing personal! It’s actually the nickname of NGC2174, a nebula in Orion. I captured this in two days under a cold and clear night. One of the last opportunities to capture a nebula this season since my equipment is now setup for galaxies. No more narrowband OIII & SII filters in my filterwheel.
It therefore is a LHaGB composite of this beautiful nebula, clearly showing a monkey head in silhouette.
I just love this hobby! Look at those colors, which are obtained by using SII, Halpha and OIII 5nm. smallbandfilters ,used in a Hubble pallet. (SII/Halpha/OIII = R/G/B)
Just over 14.5 hours of exposure during the short summer nights (in terms of darkness)! I used some Halpha data recorded last year as well.
The nights in this time of year are short here at 51 degrees north. Also, cause it’s not getting fully dark, the usage of narrowband filters is a must. Nebulas like the Crescent are bright in halpha and OIII, making them a perfect season object. Imaging sessions are short because of the temperature changes, affecting the focus stability of the optics. So in my case the first “dark” hour is to cool down the optics to a sort of stable situation. Whats left is a imaging time of about 3 to 4 hours only.
Pretty good astro-wheather over here, although a bit windy. I did some fine tuning on my RC-scope the last couple of weeks. I changed the construction of the focusser. Before the focusser was physically connected to the mirrorcell. That all has been changed! Now the focusser is mounted on the rearcell of the scope, making collimation a lot easier.
This galaxy, with it’s tipical (red) galactic “superwind”, is a very nice object to photograph! But to capture this superwind you have to expose the ccd through halpha (or broadband red) for a long time. I did have some luck for a couple of nights when clouds opened up for several hours. Although not perfect conditions, I had to take action! For core detail I might have to add more red in broadband, since the red channel is shot in halpha completely.
Searching for interesting objects for yesterdays session i ended up with IC 417. It doesn’t show up that much when you google it. Normally that means it ‘ll be a tough job. And it is!
Total exposure time is 5 hours. The seeing was quite good, transparency however not too good.
The QSI camera is the best equipment i ever bought. A true dream machine! (sorry that name is taken:)) Performing and working like a charme. The Gemini G42 mount is doing its very best to fight the Dutch seeing. And last but not least: My homemade 10″ Ritchey Chretien with GSO is doin’ a very good job too!!!
It’s been a long way for me to get a grip on the guiding process, but things are looking better and better!
Maxim (capturing software) was nice to me last night! After capturing 2 hours of Halpha data of the core of NGC2244 and the Rosette nebula, last night i also found 2 frames of blue and green filtered subs on the computer (forgot to deselect in the sequence). I was aiming at Halpha only and since we had clouds, rain, snow and fog for almost 2 months i thought i could better use them.
I know it’s not a finished product (that’s why it’s not framed), but you’ll never know when the stars pop up here. Could be 2 months again! (fingers crossed)
2 be continued!
You need some imagination to find this “Running Man”! Located in constellation Orion, this nebula is situated just above the great Orion nebula, M42. I had to take exposure time per sub down to 10 minutes for 1×1 binned images (to don’t wash out the bright stars completely) so there was some extra work involved here. But this nebula shows up at relative short exposures anyway!
An astro-buddy asked me to make one on the lathe. He already bought an adapter for Canon bayonet to 60 mm. with a 0.75 thread. Canon lenses have a back focus of 44 mm.. The Atik front to ccd distance is 17 mm., so what’s left for the custom-made adapter is 27 mm.. The adapter has to have an inner thread for 1.25 inch filters. So I cut one. It uses a 0.6 mm. metric pitch.
After making the adapter, it is preferable to anodize the adapter to give the surface a scratch-free top layer and to give it a slick appearance.
I anodize the parts myself and, on demand, I can make more or less any color you like. For astronomy purpose black is most common. The inner part will be painted matte black to rule out reflections as much as possible.
So this is the result!
After weeks of wind, cats, dogs and everything that can spoil a good night observing, last night was sort of OK again. Sort of, cause it was hazy and the moon was apparent. A halpha filter makes it still possible to capture a nice image.
It’s a 135 min. exposure (15 min. subs) made with my Ritchey Chrétien telescope.
Last night it was “nacht van de nacht” (night of the night). Purpose of that is to dim as much lights as possible to get the “dark feeling” again when you’re out there. Dozens of activities were planned, observatories opened their doors and there was a “howmanystarscanyoucount” test to see if it actually had any effect.
I wasn’t in for the counting off course: I was busy capturing the California nebula, cause it finally was clear again! Did the “nacht van de nacht” help to get better images? Probably…….it did bring me some faint areas in this picture, so I guess it did…..
Originally planned for a high-resolution composite image I started to capture the Veil nebula this summer with my 10″ Ritchey Chretien. I never finished it though. Too many nice objects on the night sky but not too many clear nights.
This is just a piece of the eastern part of this fantastic supernova remnant , captured in luminance, halpha(red) and OIII(blue).
Yesterday, the moon was just 18 days old when the skies finally cleared up here. 4 Days after full moon, the light is still very bright and conditions are therefore not very good for fullcolor imaging. Narrowband filters however are very useful in those moonlit skies, especially Halpha filters. And since cloudless nights are not to common in the Netherlands, I had to take advantage of it. This picture has subexposures of 20 minutes with a total of 220 minutes. Processed with Nebulosity and Photoshop, captured with Maxim LE. Personally, I rather make color images, so eventually a color version will show up here!
For those of you who like larger photos: here’s a bigger version!
(for personal use only!)
We don’t see the Northern Lights or Aurora that often in The Netherlands, but solar activity is picking up rapidly. The last time I saw aurora’s over here is back in 2003, when the earth was attacked by a gigantic solar storm. That’s when we (with gf Ellen) took these pictures.
On spaceweather.com there are more and more photo’s to be found of this phenomenal event. So what to do? Go up north and meet the auroras there or wait till they reach us? (a negligible chance)
Darling, you always told me you would love to check out Scandinavia, right? :)
The Seven Sisters, Pleiades or Messier 45 has several meanings for different cultures. Maybe because they are visible to the naked eye. Long exposures reveal a blue reflected dust cloud. It’s an easy target for amateur astronomers an therefore often one of their first attempts in astrophotography. And if you expose long enough the picture will be stunning!
Some extensive PS techniques are used here! Because of the monochrome camera I had to use a LRGB filter set. That means a time-consuming process!
And it did look so easy in Johannes’s tutorial…..
I had some trouble removing the stars to be able to display the comet in a long exposure background image and freeze the comets during its rapid movement across the sky.
First attempt btw….
Although named a nebula, the Andromeda nebula is in fact a galaxy. Visible to the naked eye, but it’s still hard to get those subtle, faint outer regions captured. Again, Holland is not the ideal place to be at to get those “pretty images from abroad”, but we happen to live here…..
Therefore I’m quite happy with this result. 10 years ago I could have never thought this would be possible from my backyard!
Conditions were not bad, a bit windy and transparency could have been better.
Some very clear nights passed our skies for the last couple of days, giving me the opportunity to capture 103P/Hartley 2, a comet passing by at this very moment.
But what to do? Capturing night after night a great diversity of objects, giving me less time to process them.
So here you go! A single raw 200 seconds exposure in luminance. I got tons more in LRGB, now I need some time to get a full color composite using this technique……
Comet 103P/Hartley 2 passed “The Double Cluster” on Oktober 9th, a very nice background…. The scope is a Takahashi FSQ85.
It took me 12.5 hours of imaging. Some data collected in 2009 and some in September 2010. This nice colorful composite is the result of using 5 nm. narrowband SII (red), Halpha (green) and OIII (blue) filters from Astrodon. The same palet is often used by the Hubble Space Telescope to filter Sulfur, Hydrogen, and Ozone.
After taking this picture in Halpha of the Orion nebula last season, I never had the chance to finish it for the LHaRGB version (I might upgrade to a Hubble palet version). Bring on the clear winter!
Taken with the Takahashi FSQ85 “baby Tak”, captured with a QSI583WSG and mounted on a Vixen GP mount.
I got my first Astronomy Picture of the day on August 14th 2010!
The picture was shot with a Nikon D700 and a D3. It’s a composite of images during 6 hours of capturing.
Normally I wouldn’t consider imaging M33 without filters, but here I did. Living in one of the most lightpolluted areas of the world, the dim outer regions of M33 are most of the time being photographed with lightpollution filters.
But the first half of September there were some very clear nights, so I gave it a try!
The red channel is a composite of Astrodon’s true balanced R filter (45 min.) with a 5nm. Halpha filter (80 min).
Today I switched my website to a Wordpress blog. Just because a blog is more dynamic then a website. I really like the possibility to load up new content and keep things alive.
There is a lot to discover and to learn, but lets see how things turn out!