June 23, 2017

M27 Bi-Color (May 2017)

This image combines the H-α and OIII data from that collected in May (9x720" for H-α and 8x720" for OIII).  A synthetic green channel was created in Registar and included to create an RGB frame.

June 22, 2017

M13 (May 2017)

Well, here is a close-up of the great globular cluster in Hercules.  This is 15x300" with the CFF290 Classical Cassegrain and SXVF-H9C, shrunk about 8%.  The great photogenic thing about M13 is that none of the stars are bright enough to blow out the pixels in a 5-minute exposure, yet that same exposure captures some pretty dim stars.  Great target!

June 18, 2017

M27, Dumbbell Nebula (May 2017)

M27 is found in Vulpecula and is one of the best telescopic sights of summer.  I have "discovered" it many times: most notably in 11x80 binoculars from the desert east of Reno and with an 80mm refractor in Bear Lake, Idaho.  Here is what it looks like with a color camera from my backyard in The Woodlands, TX, with narrowband data added.  I gathered 9x720" in H-alpha and 8x720" in OIII with the SXVF-H9 and combined this with 25x360" taken with the SXVF-H9C.  Of course, this is the big scope, the CFF 290mm Classical Cassegrain, at an effective focal length of about f/8.  The filters are Astronomik.  Guiding was done with an SX-OAG on a Takahashi NJP.

May 10, 2017

M27 in OIII (May 5, 2017)

Here is M27 in OIII.  This picture is a stark contrast from the H-alpha.  The OIII emission is mostly what we see when we look at the nebula, which is very bright.  My most memorable view of it was from very dark skies in Idaho through an 80mm refractor.  Under such skies, M27 looks like a cotton ball hanging in space.  This is 8x720" with the SXVF-H9 through an Astronomik 6nm OIII filter and the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain.

Lunar Crater Copernicus (May 5, 2017)

Here is Copernicus.  It is a stack of 5,000 frames taken with the ZWO ASI224MC through the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain at f/33.75.

May 7, 2017

Luna: Bullialdus Crater (May 5, 2017)

Here is another crater, Bullialdus.  One striking thing about this image is that the it's hard to tell what the inner peaks look like from the top, but the shadow reveals two triangles with perfect sides.  This is 5,000 of 20,000 frames, stacked in AutoStakkert! 3, taken with the ZWO ASI224MC through the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain at f/33.75.

Luna: Reinhold (May 5, 2017)

This is best 3,000 of 20,000 frames, processed with AutoStakkert! 3 and Photoshop Elements.   The data was gathered with a ZWO ASI 224MC camera through the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain at f/33.75.  This one was pretty fun to process.

May 6, 2017

Jupiter at 3:31-39 UT, May 6, 2017

It's been a while since I tried this, but planetary imaging is kind of fun even though I'm not that good at it yet.  I thought the seeing would be better tonight, but the air did not settle until after midnight, when Jupiter was behind the trees.  This image is 40% of its original size, as a result.  It is 10,000 of 20,000 frames with the ZWO224MC camera through the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain at f/33.75 (TV 2.5x Powermate).

May 2, 2017

M27 in H-alpha (May 1, 2017)

I've shot this target before, but never at this focal length in H-alpha.  What intrigues me about this image is the motion.  You can almost see the swirling of the central star as it shoots out energy—something is certainly spinning out radiation.

This image is 9x720" through an Astronomik 6nm H-alpha filter and the CCF 290 Classical Cassegrain (at about f/8) with the SXVF-H9 camera.

April 29, 2017

M88 (April 24, 2017)

A month or so ago I was working my way visually through the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.  M88 was one of its easiest to see.  Of course, in my 8" f/5 reflector, M88 appears visually from my backyard as an oval smudge, brighter toward the smudge's center.  But I knew M88 was a grand spiral, so I wanted to return for a better look with the camera.  Here is the image: 14x720" with the SXVF-H9 through the CFF 290 Classical Cassegrain at around f/8.