Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Some new software!

Bizibilder has just bought some new Astro software specifically designed to get round various processing problems with astro photo’s.  The pictures below show a “before and after” of a shot he took a while ago.  The light pollution recorded has been miraculously removed with one click of the mouse!!

M71 ClusterM71 Cluster Fixed

Bizibilder is impressed! (PS they are “Noel’s Actions for Photoshop” from Prodigitalsoftware.

A Spiral Galaxy

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‘Twas a tad hazy last night but Bizibilder achieved two targets – the first was to “lock” a second telescope & camera onto a star so that it could be used for guiding the main telescope – the computer does all the clever bits!  This should mean that he can take much longer exposures as the alignment of the imaging scope will be held “perfect” for images each of 10 minutes or more!!.  However, to celebrate his success, Bizibilder promptly switched off the guiding and ran around 1 h 8min of 2min exposures of the Galaxy M101.  The above is the (rather noisy) result – this object could do with 5-6 hours exposure and clear skies! – it is big but very faint.  There are at least 7 other galaxies “in shot!”.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Great Nebula in Orion (M42)

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Bizibilder’s new scope captured this rather noisy image on Thursday evening.  Unfortunately Orion is low in the West after sunset and Bizibilder was only able to get 28mins of exposure on this before it went behind his observatory wall!  Still its quite a spectacular object – It is a “stellar nursery” where new stars are forming.  These are shining brightly on the surrounding gas making it visible to us.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A Cluster and a Galaxy

M44 M51

On the left is an “Open Cluster” or loose collection of stars called M44 or Praesepe or “The Beehive” cluster.  On the right is M51 or “The Whirlpool” – a better picture than the one posted a few posts back!!  Both were taken with Bizibilder’s new imaging telescope – a little 80mm apochromatic refractor (Its got a lens and is completely colour-corrected).   M44 is 50mins of exposure and M51 2h 8min.  The M51 shot also shows at least three other spiral galaxies seen edge-on – just elongated smudges!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Colourful Moon

BIg Moon

This was taken on Friday night and is a Mosaic of around 15 small frames.  Each was a movie taken with a webcam, 900 frames long.  Each movie was processed to use only the “best” frames, these being stacked together and “tweaked” by the software to give the best image.  To collect the frames took around an hour and a half, The computer then took over three hours to process them all – there was over 30Gb of data to process!! The larger crater is Copernicus and the smaller, very bright one, is Aristarchus.  The colour is real although I have enhanced it very slightly.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Second attempt M81 and M82

M81M82 3h06m

This is Bizibilder’s second attempt at the galaxies M81 and M82.  3hours 6mins of exposure this time (2mins each “sub”) using the SW200P and Canon 1000D, ISO 800.  The difference with the much greater number of subs and longer overall exposure time has made a significant difference to the image quality. 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Another dodgy Galaxy!

M63 aAnother imaging session curtailed by cloud and not made any better by high altitude haze!!(Well, that’s my excuse!).  This time the galaxy M63 in Canes Venatici.  It is at a distance of 37 million light years. It has multiple spiral arms evenly distributed around the core. The image is from 1h 14mins of 2min subs and is very noisy – this object needs much longer exposure and clear skies! (SW200P, Canon 1000D, ISO 800)  N.B. This is a cropped image – the true image size of the galaxy is a little smaller than M51 in the post below!!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Dodgy double galaxy

M51

A bit of a dodgy picture from last night – Bizibilder only managed 30 mins of data before the clouds rolled in!  So rough and ready it is until he can collect a few more photons!  This is the “double” of M51 (NGC5194) – The “Whirlpool Galaxy” - and its companion NGC5195.  These two really are interacting and have actually “collided” in the past – probably a couple of times, at least.  They are about 31million light years away from us.  They are in the constellation Canes Venatici (actually very close to the end of the “handle” of the plough).  There are at least three other galaxies visible in the photo – see if you can spot them!