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Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

 

M42/M43 combining data from different cameras

These are reprocessed images combining the data from different cameras and separating out the luminance data from the chrominance data

Click on an image to get a closer view

M42/43 Luminance monochrome data


M42/43 RGB image


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


 

M29, The Cooling Tower cluster in Cygnus

 Using AstroDMx Capture for Windows, with an Atik320E OSC camera at the prime focus of an Altair 60EDF doublet refractor driven with an iOptron CEM26 mount guided with PHD2 guiding.

Chris Bowden


 

The Crescent Moon and Venus

Venus and the crescent Moon taken by Loughor Estuary, settings were 1/30s ISO 80 at f/2.8 on a 50mm lens attached to a Canon 4000D DSLR, on a static tripod.


Venus and the crescent moon showing earthshine, settings were 4s ISO 800 , at f/2.8, with a 50mm lens attached to a canon 4000D camera on a static tripod.


Chris Playle


Monday, December 6, 2021

 

Reprocessing of the Horsehead and Flame nebulae

Here's a reprocess of the Horsehead and Flame nebulae imaged February and early March this year. This time everything was stacked in Astro Pixel Processor producing separate Red, Green, Blue and Ha stacks. I also stacked every sub into a superluminance stack to be used as a luminance layer to increase detail.

Processed in Pixinsight by combining RGB and adding Ha to the red channel. This has produced a better red balance in the image.

I then applied HDR to adjust brightness on the superluminance to show more detail in the nebula and then, after increasing the saturation of the HaRGB image, combined the superluminance layer. Some noise reduction and then boosted the contrast slightly in Photoshop CS3.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Early version


Reprocessed version


Anne Startup


Sunday, December 5, 2021

 

Venus over the Loughor estuary

Venus over the Loughor estuary taken this evening, settings were 1/3s exposure ISO 400 at f/2.8, with a 50mm lens attached to the Canon 4000D DSLR camera



Chris Playle


 

Comet C/2021 A1(Leonard)

An attempt was made to image comet C/2021 A1(Leonard) in the face of 35mph gusts of cold wing at 6am this morning.

A Pentax K-x DSLR was mounted on a static tripod. The camera was fitted with a red dot finder for accurate aiming and was set to F=133mm, f/4, ISO 12800 with a 15s exposure.

Click on an image to get a closer view


Most of the images captured were spoiled by camera shake caused by the high wind but a couple were acceptable.

Comet C/2021 A1(Leonard)

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


 

NGC 2238 the Rosette Nebula

Here is my latest image. It is NGC 2238 the Rosette Nebula. I collected 13 hours of narrowband 600s sub-exposures. 4 hoursoif Hydrogen Alpha; 4 hours of Ionised Oxygen and 5 hours of ionised sulphur. The three integrated masters were combined in Pixinsight Pixel Math with the red channel being 2*SII+0.2*Ha; Green channel=Ha; Blue channel 2*SII+0.2*Ha. Rescale was used to prevent clipping. Then developed with a masked stretch; curves with a lum mask, histogram equalisation and colour saturation. The interesting thing for me is that having so much data made the processing easier. If any member wants to have a go with this data I will make it available via DropBox on my return in January. The telescope used is a SW ED80 triplet with a ZWO 183MM COOLED TO -10 degrees C and a SW EQ6-R pro mount. 

Click on the image to get a closer view


Paul Howat


Saturday, December 4, 2021

 

The Whale galaxy and the Tarantula Nebula using data from iTelescope

Tarantula nebula from iTelescope data release

2x30 minutes each for Ha, Oiii and Sii.

Processed in Pixinsight. Combined Ha to red, Sii to green and Oiii to blue. I also added all the individual narrowband together using pixelmath to produce a superluminance. This reduced noise in the image compared to not using it.IHDR on the superluminance to reduce brightness in the core to show more detail then combined the superluminance as a luminance layer on top of the rgb image.

The final image shows the presence of Ha and Oiii in the nebula well by varying shades of mauve and blue. Sii is not strong in the nebula but does surround it and can be seen where an orange tint shows in the mauve sections.

The Tarantula nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud


The Whale Galaxy, NGC4631

Here is a close up image of the Whale Galaxy, NGC4631. Data release from iTelescope.

5x900s for red, green and luminance, 4x900s for blue.

Data was pre-calibrated before issue. I used Astro Pixel Processor for stacking, background normalisation and RGB combine. All other processing was done using Pixinsight.

Starnet++ was used to create a starmask to protect the stars during processing. I also reduced the star size a small amount to make the galaxy more dominant in the final image.

The Whale Galaxy


Anne Startup


Friday, December 3, 2021

 

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard)

I am travelling in a camper van in Portugal. I used a Sky Watcher ED80 Esprit triplet. F=400mm f/5 and a Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro Mount. The camera is an Altair 183C. I used PHD2 to guide by selecting the comet core as my guide star and took a number of 180s subs frames. This image is from one of those.

 Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) by M3 


Paul Howat


Thursday, December 2, 2021

 

Active galaxies and Black Holes

Prof Ian Robson gave a fascinating and informative , cutting edge talk entitled 'Active galaxies and Black Holes'. The lecture was followed by a lively question time.




 

NGC 7000 and the Pleiades

 NGC 7000, the North America nebula in cygnus, settings were 1 minute exposure at ISO 1600, f/3.2 with a 50mm lens attached to a Canon 4000D DSLR camera, on a Skywatcher Synscan AZ GOTO mount.

The North American Nebula


Pleiades  1min 20s exposure at ISO 1600 at f/3.2

Chris Playle


 

M42/43 with an LeNhance filter

 An f/5.5, 80mm, ED refractor was mounted on a Celestron AVX mount. The mount was pulse auto-guided with PHD2 using an SV165 guide-scope and an SV305 as the guide camera.

An Atik 314E OSC camera was fited with an Optalong LeNhance dual-band narrowband filter and was placed at the focus of the refractor.

AstroDMx Capture for Windows was used to capture 15 x 5min FITS exposures of the Orion Nebula along with Bias frames and matching dark frames.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture capturing 5 minute exposures. The preview was set to 150% and the non-destructive16-bit brightness was set to x2 to facilitate viewing the data being captured.


The images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processed in the Gimp and FastStone.

Final image of M42/43



Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


 

M74

2.5 hour exposure of M74 using AstroDMx Capture and 2min exposures with an Atik320e colour camera at the prime focus of an Altair 60EDF doublet refractor driven with an iOptron CEM26 mount guided with PHD2 guiding.

Click on the image to get a closer view

M74

Chris Bowden


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

 

The Sculptor galaxy

The southern hemisphere object "Sculptor galaxy" imaged at just 10 degrees elevation on the evening of 28 November. A total of 51 mins exposure integration was made with 15 x 2 minute and 7 x 3 minute subs taken with an Atik320e colour camera at the prime focus of an Altair 60EDF doublet refractor driven with an iOptron CEM26 mount guided with PHD2 guiding. Images were captured with AstroDMx Capture with associated darks and bias adjustments applied and stacked in DSS with Kappa Sigma and hot pixel cosmetic fixes selected with dark optimisations and hot pixel removal. Final edit done with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop.

Click on the image to have a closer view


Chris Bowden


Monday, November 29, 2021

 

The North America nebula region in Cygnus

The North America nebula region in Cygnus. Settings were 40s, ISO exposure ISO 1600 at f/2.8 with a 50mm lens on a Canon 4000D DSLR camera. The camera was mounted on a Skywatcher SynScan AZ GOTO mount.

Chris Playle


Sunday, November 28, 2021

 

M31 with a DSLR and a 50mm lens

M31, the Andromeda galaxy. Settings were 30s, 1 exposure ISO 1600 and f/2.8 with a 50mm lens on a canon 4000D DSLR camera. The camera was mounted on a Skywatcher SynScan AZ GOTO mount.

Camera mounted on the SynScan AZ GOTO mount

Click on the image to get a closer view

M31

Chris Playle


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

 

Deep Sky Sketches

 I used my f/8, 8" Richie Cretion scope and an ultra star camera as an electronic eyepiece. 

Click on an image to get a closer view



Jim Startup


 

Sunset at Rhossili

Sunset with the Helvetia shipwrck on Rhossili beach Gower. Settings were 5s, ISO 400 f/5. 6 with an 18-55mm lens on a Canon 4000D DSLR camera.


Chris Playle


 

Deep Sky and the Moon

Tricky conditions for imaging on the morning of the 22nd November, with the moon being so bright. These 4 minute subs were taken with a one shot colour Atik320e camera running AstroDMx Capture through an Altair 60 EDF driven with an iOptron CEM26 mount, guided with PHD2. M31 & M42 were exposed for 32 mins, with the Flame & Horsehead nebulae for 92 mins. DSO images were stacked in DSS and finished in Photoshop.





Chris Bowden


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

 

H-alpha solar image

 A H-alpha PST scope fitted with the lens from a x2 Barlow was mounted on an ETX125 mount. AstroDMx Capture for Windows was used to capture a 30s SER file of a quadrant of the Sun. Exposures were made for the disk and the prominences.

The SER files were stacked in Autostakkert! and post-processed in Photoshop. The disk image and prominence image were combined to produce the final image showing surface detail and prominences.

Chris Bowden


 

Wide angle planets

Click on an image to see a closer view

Jupiter and Saturn over Rhossili bay Gower. Settings were 15s, ISO 1600, at f/5. 6 with an 18-55mm lens on a Canon 4000D DSLR.


Venus over the Helvetia ship wreck on Rhossili beach, Gower. Settings were 5s, ISO 800, and f/5. 6 with an 18-55mm lens on a Canon 4000D DSLR.



Chris Playle

Monday, November 22, 2021

 

M27 and the Moon

 A Skywatcher HEQ5 GOTO mount was fitted with a QHYCCD Polemaster and was polar aligned to within about 30 arc seconds of the NCP

Click on an image to get a closer view

Polemaster in place


An Eklipse EKinox f/5.5, 80mm ED refractor was fitted with an SVBONY SV165 guide scope with an SV305 camera as a guide camera for pulse guiding. A ZWO ASI178MC 14-bit camera was fitted with an Optalong LeNhance tri-narrowband filter and placed at the focus of the scope.
PHD2 running on a Fedora Linux laptop was used to autoguide the system.
AstroDMx Capture for Linux was used to capture 15 x 4min FITS files with matching dark frames and BIAS frames.
The data were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processed in the Gimp 2.10, Photoshop Elements, Topaz sharpen and Neat image.
The object of this test was to look at the quality of the polar alignment for facilitating long exposures.

M27

Some of the nebulosity surrounding the Dumbbell is becoming visible. As this is an uncooled 14 bit camera, the results were quite encouraging.

With the Optalong filter still in place, a 5000 frame SER file was captured of the 93.9% Moon. The best 90% of the frames were stacked in Autostakkert! and the image processed in the Gimp 2.10.

93.9% Moon
This produced an image of the Moon free of the fringing that frequently is present when imaging through a refractor.

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin



 

Deep Sky Sketches

I used an 8", f/8 Richie Cretian telescope and an ultra star camera as an electronic eyepiece.

Click on an image to get a closer view






Jim Startup


Sunday, November 21, 2021

 

97% Moon

 A Celestron 70 Travel Scope was mounted on an ETX125 mount. AstroDMx Capture for Windows was used to capture a SER file of the 97% Moon. Autostakkert! 3 was used to stack the frames and the Gimp was used to post process the image.

Click on the image to get a closer view.


 Chris Bowden


Thursday, November 18, 2021

 

Stellar Evolution Part-2

Roger Pickard gave a talk entitled 'Stellar Evolution Part-2', a continuation of a previous lecture. Following some minor technical hitches, Roger gave a highly informative and interesting lecture.




 

Reprocessing Soul nebula data

Given the current weather, I've reprocessed data from last month and September 2019, all taken at Kelling Heath star-party.

The older data was taken with my Atik 428 mono ccd camera and narrowband filters, Ha an O3, the newer data with my ZWO ASI533 CMOS camera and the L'Enhance duo-band filter. I've attached the two original images below.

I recreated the mosaic of the 2019 data using Astro Pixel Processor, which I've got a trial of. It is particularly suited to calibrating and stacking subs and combining them into mosaics of large objects. The older version of the Soul nebula was taken on 2x2 binning so was somewhat lacking in resolution. The newer data contained the missing detail.

I then combined the relevant channels in Pixinsight and processed as usual. This time I used Starnet++ to remove the stars so I could process the nebula and stars separately to avoid over stretching the stars.

First image is the combined image, second 2019 and third is last month.

Click on an image to get a closer view



Anne Startup


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