Archive for December, 2010

Helix Nebula with Astrotac – New Mexico

Date: 9/12/2010

Location: Abiquiu, New Mexico,

The month of December is definitely not great for astronomy given the clouds / rain – so I am taking the occasion to process and post shots I took in September in New Mexico,

These two pictures from the Helix nebula were taken with respectively my Canon 200mm Teleobjective, and Takahashi FS-60C, both having very fine optics.

Both were done on my Astrotrac Travel system mount (unguided). Star were slightly elongated because of poor polar alignment,  and I tried to fix it as much as possible using Photoshop and  techniques described in the excellent book “The New Astro Zone System for Astro Imaging” by R.Wodaski and R.Croman.

9 exposures of  3 minutes – Modified Canon XTi and 200mm Teleobjective at f/d 3.5

Interesting to see the comparison there.  Since shots were  unguided I was limited to a short exposures especially with the FS-60C.  The picture taken with the FS-60C is definitely more detailed – stars are “tight” but  colors are not captured as nicely as with the Teleobjective open at f/d 3.5 because of the short sub-frame duration.

Even though more pictures were stacked with the FS60, still the short F/D ratio of the Canon Teleobjective makes the difference when capturing colors from green to yellow to red in this great planetary nebula.

34 exposures of 1 minutes on Takahashi FS-60C  at f/d 5.9 – Modified Canon XTi rebel

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Solar Spots with SV 90 Raptor and Baader Solar Film

Date: 9/26/2010

Location: San Bruno, California

These pictures were taken with the Baader Solar Film and my DMK black and white camera.

Sun granules and faculae are featured in respectively the first and second pictures

The Stellarvue SV90 (3.5″) is a fine instrument for Sun white light Astrophotography.

It reaches temperature equilibrium quite fast – and with its great optical quality it can get as far as a 3.5″ aperture can possibly go…

In addition I used a Televue x5 Powermate. Since the SV90 has a relatively short focal ratio (f/d 7) the x5  powermate is necessary to get high resolution pictures.



















– Avistack

– Photoshop CS4

– Astraimage Wavelet filter

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Running Man nebula with c9.25

Location:  San Bruno, CA – 11/14/2010

C9.25 with Focal Reducer on NJP-Z Mount

Combination of 7 exposures of 7 minutes

Camera:  Qhy9 at 2×2 binning with astronomik CLS CCD filter

This is my first long exposure with my new Takahashi NJP-Z mount.  I am planning to do long focal / high resolution astrophotography with it and I am still in the learning curve.

The set up I have with my C9.25 and guidescope is far from optimal – and I am working on improving the overall rigidity – since I realized I am not limited by the mount (which has an excellent tracking) but rather by tube flexture (guidescope).

The mount was controlled from a Toshiba Netbook.

Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop CS4, Sharpener Pro 3.0, Noise Ninja


Jupiter SEB revival in November 2010

Orion 180 Mak Cassegrain with DMK Camera on Takahashi NJP-Z mount.

Seeing: 4/10

I captured these pictures on a night of average seeing.

It is possible to notice a quite visible revival of the South Equatorial belt on this picture, that was not visible in pictures taken earlier in November.

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Copernicus with Mak Cassegrain 180mm

11/16/2010 at San Bruno, CA

Orion Mak Cassegrain 180mm with Black and white DMK camera on Takahashi NJP-Z mount.

Seeing: 4/10  and Transparency 3/6

I wish my DMK camera sensor would be larger than its 1/4″ size. It is perfect for planetary imaging but the field of view is too small for the moon!

This is taken at approximatively f/d 25 (f/d 15 with barlow x1.5).

Processing: registax v5, Photoshop CS4, and Astra image wavelet processing.

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