Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Reprocessed “Slightly over quarter Moon”


Reprocessed Moon

Bizibilder has been spending his time constructively during the holidays by reading up on various tutorials etc. to try and improve his image processing!  The picture attached is a re-work using some rather fancy software that Bizibilder is still trying to get his head around!  The image is far from good but he is satisfied that he has probably “pulled out” as much as he can from his data (which was a stack of 20 DSLR images of the Moon on a night of not so good seeing).

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A slightly over quarter Moon


From last night – a Moon made from a stack of 20 pictures.  The focus is better now Bizibilder has had a bit of practice!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Meteor Hunting!

Geminid Meteor

Bizibilder was out hunting Meteors tonight.  The Geminid shower is on view at the moment (just passed its “maximum” in terms of numbers of meteors).  Bizibilder took around 100 photo’s of 20 seconds each hoping to catch one.  He did and , not joking at all, it was the last frame taken!!  The meteor is the bright streak. Taken with just a camera and basic 18mm lens on a tripod.

He has processed the picture in Photoshop to remove light pollution and then drawn onto the picture the “outline” of the constellation Gemini and a part of Orion to help with orientation. He also marked the open cluster M35 also in the constellation Gemini.

Meteors are really only tiny dust particles often associated with comets.  As the Earth goes round its orbit it sometimes passes through this dust.  These particles burn up in the atmosphere and are seen as a “Meteor trail” in the night sky.  These are called the Geminids as they appear to come from an area of the sky in the constellation Gemini.  They are nothing to do with the stars!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Pleiades

Pleiades JPEG1


This star cluster is easily visible to the naked eye (At this time of year - in the evening sky, SE at around 45° above the horizon).  You won’t see the nebulosity but they are a fine sight.  With the naked eye you should be able to make out seven stars from a dark site (My telescopic field of view only shows the middle five brighter stars of the cluster – Bizibilder will have to make a mosaic to get the whole thing in one image!).  The Pleiades are around 440 Light years away and are “young” - only around 100 million years old – (Our Sun is around 4.5 Billion years old).

The image is 71 x 1 min stacked (So around 1hour 11 mins total exposure time) and processed in Photoshop.  (200mm telescope Canon 1000D ISO 800).  ‘Twas a bit hazy last night and it shows in the slightly fuzzy stars!!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A swift Moon snapshot

Moon 111210

A quick snap of the Moon tonight (around 4.15pm) to check out the ‘scope.  Bizibilder has re-aligned the optics of the scope and needs about half an our of clear sky to get the process “spot-on”.  The Moon looks OK but a star “point” will give a better indication that all is well – then maybe some real imaging can take place after almost a month of cloud!!!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Don’t you just HATE Xmas sometimes!!


The neighbours think it’s pretty but Bizibilder doesn’t !! BA HUMBUG!!!!

That’s Bizibilder’s observatory in the foreground. MORE HUMBUG!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

22 Moons!

Moon 15 11 2010

22 Moons?  What is Bizibilder up to?  This is actually 22 separate images of the Moon “stacked” together to form a single image (all to do with getting a better “average” picture rather than just one where you may or may not be lucky enough to get “good” atmospheric clarity).  Taken at around 22.00 on 15.11.10  200mm reflector and Canon 1000D 1/640 sec at ISO 800 Temp was 0°C!! Ice on the telescope!! Brrrrrrrrrr!!).  The very obvious crater about 2/3 of the way up the left hand side is “Copernicus” and the large crater at the bottom – with a couple of craters inside it – is “Clavius”.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

M33–Two nights hard work!

M33 two sets data CS5 Processed JPEG

Bizibilder spent another fruitful night under the stars collecting more photons from M33 (which, by the way, started their journey L O N G before man was around on Earth!).  The results of two nights work have been combined to give the image above.  There is finally enough there to start to show the “knotty” or “wooly” appearance of the spiral arms.

(Total of 1hour 56min exposure at ISO 800.  200mm reflecting telescope at f/5. Canon 1000D) – By the way, Bizibilder is very “picky” with the quality of the images that he is prepared to “stack” into the final image!  A total of 53 x 2mins = 1hour 46mins were dumped! – due to trailing, smudging, and other blemishes!!)

The Great Nebula in Orion

Picture saved with settings applied.

This is a real “quickie”!  (Bizibilder was out in the garden last night collecting more data for his current project – M33).  He realised that the Orion Nebula was “in shot” between the trees that limit his view slightly.  So a quick 8mins worth was duly shot just so that Bizibilder could say he had a photo of this magnificent object.  The centre is very overexposed and the overall processing a bit rough and ready, to say the least!  (By the way, you will often see this object in books looking decidedly red in colour. Bizibilder is limited by the use of his DSLR camera that has a filter to cut out red!! Hence blue predominates the image. The problem is that the ordinary DSLR camera is not designed for astro pictures and Bizibilder is not inclined to have the filter removed).

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Messier M33 in Triangulum

M33 Small JPEG

Bizibilder spent all last evening taking pictures of this galaxy.  It is about 3 million light years away and is about 50,000 light years across.  The picture is made from 24 x 2 minute exposures – a total of 48mins exposure.  It is beginning to show some detail but not much colour. (200mm reflector f/5 prime focus 24 x 2 min at ISO 800 Canon 1000D)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Thanks to Mr Bahtinov……


Bizibilder has made himself a “thing” called a Bahtinov Mask (after a Russian called Mr Bahtinov of course!!).  It is made from a Tesco’s plastic clipboard with lots of slots cut into it in a very specific pattern.  The idea is that you put this over the end of the telescope and aim at a brightish star, this causes the diffraction pattern (spikes) shown in the second image.  The clever bit is that the central spike that passes through the “crossed spikes” will only be dead centre when the telescope is at perfect focus.  Simples!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Galaxy far, far away!!

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Bizibilder’s was unable to take too many pictures tonight as the clouds rolled in!  But he was able to capture some data from the galaxy M33 (in the constellation Triangulum – The triangle – what else?).  Only 14mins of exposure (it needs an hour or two to do it justice!!)  BUT it is Bizibilder’s first “proper” photo of a galaxy and he is quite chuffed with himself!

Friday, 29 October 2010

More of that darned Double Cluster!

Picture saved with settings applied.Picture saved with settings applied.

This is a new set of pictures from Wednesday night – Bizibilder has just spent all day trying to process them.  Not too good at the moment but he will persevere!!  Bizibilder has just added the pic on the right as this is the same data reprocessed!  Still not good – the LH one has all the detail and the RH one the better “background”!!  Eventually the idea is to combine both sets of pictures into one. (Bizibilder could not have done that with a film camera!!).  (The techie bit – 43 x 1min subs + 24 darks at ISO800 200mm f/5 reflector canon 1000D prime focus)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Even more Moons!

AAMoon 27102010

Yet another shot of the Moon from Bizibilder’s back garden.  This time Bizibilder remembered to put North at the top!!

This one is a stack of 30 images (to hopefully reduce atmospheric turbulence ie “wobbly image!”) taken last night.  (200mm f/5 reflector Canon 1000D ISO200 1/400 sec stacked in Registax and tinkered with in Photoshop)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Bizibilder’s first “proper” Deep Sky Astro image

Picture saved with settings applied.

This is the “Double Cluster” in Perseus taken on the night of 10th October.  It is made from 11 “subs” of two minutes each stacked together and processed in Photoshop (now that I have it and it works – a long story!!). 200mm reflector telescope f/5 and canon 1000D at ISO 800.

Processed Moon

Processed Moon

This image of the Moon was taken on 20th October 2010 using my 200mm (8”) reflector and DSLR camera.  The image above is made up from about 10 single images “stacked” to make one image.  This was then processed using “Photoshop” to sharpen the image and improve the contrast and brightness.  Not exactly advanced processing but certainly an improvement on the single frame below (which is, by the way, one of the frames used in the above image!)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Bizibilder has got a new toy!! Photoshop

PS Moon

This single frame of the Moon was taken the other night.  Bizibilder has used Photoshop to slightly enhance the image – nothing special as he is a raw beginner!!  The crater with the rays is Tycho.  South at the top (roughly) – as you see the moon through most telescopes (as the image is inverted.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Photo’s through clouds!

Jupiter Moons Photo’s through clouds never work!  Nor has this shot of Jupiter (very over-exposed) and its four Galilean Moons – Callisto, Io, Europa and Ganymede.  But at least you can see them!
image This little diagram (from WINJUPOS) shows the calculated configuration for this time tonight.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

New Software!!

Bizibilder has spent the week updating his computer to Windows 7.  Hopefully Blogging will soon recommence!!  As he is having to learn how to use the new version of Live Writer !!

Friday, 24 September 2010

More Moons!!

Moon 240910Moonbig 240910 

A couple of Moons tonight through broken cloud – these were the best of a dozen or so before the cloud really closed in and it began to rain! Taken with a DSLR and telescope.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Moon Mosaic

Moon 22092010a 

Bizibilder has just taken this mosaic of the Moon – six pictures joined together to give the whole Moon.  The night was very hazy so the quality is poor but it was a useful experiment and the first time Bizibilder had managed a Lunar mosaic – So he is quite chuffed with himself.  The Moon is not quite full 99.8% illuminated– you can see the left hand side is still slightly in shadow.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A True Comparison

    IMG_0188Moon for comparison
M103 FinishedM103
M27 Dumbell FInished in GimpM27 Hercules ClusterM13
M71 Finished in GIMPM71 M45 FInished in GIMPM45
 M57 M57 Double Final Double
Bizibilder has always had a problem knowing just what size celestial bodies actually appear in the sky!  When looking at a photo (which is likely to be taken through some form of optical system and then cropped) one has absolutely no idea how big the objects that you can see actually are!!  So Bizibilder has reproduced these eight pictures here (They can all be seen in posts below).  They are all the full frame shot with no cropping at all, taken with exactly the same optical system – so they should give a good representation of relative size.  Bizibilder has included a photo of the Moon, for comparison, as this is a familiar object to everyone (in terms of its apparent size anyway).

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Double Cluster in Perseus

Double Cluster


One of the most famous objects in the night sky but omitted from Messier’s catalogue!  The Double Cluster is visible to the naked eye as a smudge – binoculars or a small telescope show these objects well.  (20 Mins exposure, 200mm telescope).

M103 Cluster in Cassiopeia



Yet another star cluster – this time a smallish one in the constellation Cassiopeia.  16 mins exposure.  Number 103 in Messier’s catalogue.

M27 in Vulpecula - The Dumbbell Nebula

M27 Dumbell 2

Bizibilder seems to be getting better at processing these images (He says with some modesty!).  This is Messier’s number 27, commonly known as the Dumbbell Nebula.  (20 x 1 min exposures using a 200mm telescope, unguided mount,  ISO 1600, for the techies!).  This is a similar object to the Ring Nebula a couple of posts back.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The last subject from last night – M71 Open Cluster

M71 Cluster

M71 is a cluster of stars in the constellation Saggita (a tiny constellation!).  This is 12mins exposure 200mm telescope (rest of techie stuff as below).

(This cluster is considerably smaller in apparent diameter than M13 the Hercules cluster – picture below.)

M45 The Pleiades

M45 Pleiades

Another clear night at Bizibilder’s Observatory has resulted in a few more pictures!  Above is (part of) the star cluster known as M45 or The Pleiades in the constellation Taurus.  This is a naked eye object and most folk can see the six or seven brightest stars (four of them in the picture above).  The stars, which are very young, are blue and you can see faint nebulosity (clouds of gas) around each one.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Close up of M57

The RIng Nebula M57

A slightly larger (and I think better!) view of the ring and its central star!

The Ring Nebula M57 in Lyra

The RIng Nebula M57 JPEG

The Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra is the result of a star exploding and throwing off a cloud of gas.  We see it as a ring (with what’s left of the star in the middle).  This object is comparatively small.  (In terms of apparent size M31 (below) is about 6 “Moons” long in its entirety,  the ring is roughly the same size as a medium sized crater on the moon!).  Bizibilder thinks it is a rather pretty object!  It is decidedly green/blue to look at.

Techie: 22 Minutes of exposure, ISO 800, 200mm reflecting telescope.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Bizibilder’s first Galaxy – M31 in Andromeda


M31 Image 1

Well!  This is the processed image – after quite a few problems as Bizibilder is not at all sure how to use the rather complicated software needed to stack 80 x 1minute images and then process something out of them!  He feels he has achieved something in the last three hours!  The picture represents a total exposure of 1hour 21mins of the Galaxy known as M31 or the “Great Andromeda Galaxy”  You can clearly see the central core and some of the surrounding spiral arms and dust lanes.  The smudge in the lower right is a second Galaxy M32 which is a satellite galaxy of M31 (ie part of the same system).

M31 The Great Andromeda Galaxy

Small 5min M31

Just a taster. This is a single 5 minute exposure of the Galaxy M31 in Andromeda.  Bizibilder spent all night taking pics of this object and intends to process the images in the morning!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Just a Pretty Picture!

Arcturus JPEG

Just a pretty picture of the Star Arcturus in the constellation Bo├Âtes. Bizibilder took this first last night as it is a very bright star and he could use it to focus his camera and telescope.  The “cross” is due to the design of the telescope used (called a diffraction pattern).  Some folk think they look pretty others hate them!  Bizibilder, as always, prefers to sit firmly on the fence!!

Bizibilder’s first Deep Sky Object Photo

Hercules Cluster

Bizibilder is quite proud of his first DSO picture.  It is of the star cluster known as “The Great Globular Cluster” or M13 (Messier’s catalogue number 13)in the constellation of Hercules. It is a cluster of thousands of stars and is about 145 light years in diameter and is about 25,100 light years away.  It can be seen with the naked eye (just!) or binoculars will show it easily as a smudge.  This was taken with an 8” (200mm) diameter telescope.

(Eight minutes exposure, processed a little to eliminate light pollution.)

I’ve added a close up of the “core”:

Hercules Cluster 2

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A Moon mosaic!

Moon 1stitch   Bri & Con   Flip

I actually took four pics of the Moon and have combined them here to show a mosaic of most of the Moon!  Unfortunately it clouded over before I could get the whole disc!  “Bother” said Bizibilder.

This is what all that building was about!

Moon 1

This is what Bizibilder has been trying to achieve with all his building and buying of Astronomical stuff!  Full Moon (when you can see the visible disc fully illuminated) was at around 6 o’clock this evening.  This photo was taken at around 10.30.  There is not much crater detail as, if you were on the Moon, the Sun would be directly overhead (ie “Moon Noon”) and therefore there are few shadows.

For Techies: 7” f/15 Telescope, prime focus.  Canon 1000D 1/250th sec ISO 1600. Contrast and brightness reduced (due to overexposure as the ISO setting is too high!!)(Excited Bizibilder!)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Bizibilder the wildlife photographer!!

Or how Bizibilder found out JUST HOW DIFFICULT it is to take pictures of wildlife!!

These Grebes were a real pain – Bizibilder has extracted these from around fifty attempts at getting a half decent photo!
IMG_0045 This little chap (Now identified as a Reed Warbler) spent most of its time hiding!  It took nearly an hour of waiting to get this shot (and about twenty others “just out of focus, moving, facing the wrong way etc!!)
IMG_0054 IMG_0063
Mother and baby ducks – reasonably co-operative!!
Pigeon – just sat there – what a poser!! IMG_0134
Parting shot – a bit of natural atmosphere from a long lens!! IMG_0149