Monday, 25 April 2011

Reprocessed Sticky Whale

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Bizibilder was going to simply swap this picture in the post below but he did not as it shows just how subtle astro processing is!  This is a reprocess from scratch of his “Whale” picture.  This one has far less blue in it and much better fine detail.  Its still far from perfect but even Bizibilder can’t really afford four hours processing time for one image!!  Just for fun, he has put some spikes on the stars to make it look pretty!!

The Whale and the Hockey Stick in Canes Venatici

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Bizibilder managed another imaging run last night, this time the target was a field containing several galaxies.  At the top is the “Whale” or NGC 4631, a huge spiral galaxy seen edge on, accompanied by a small elliptical galaxy NGC 4627.  Lower and to the left is the “Hockey Stick” or NGC 4656 and, making the angle, NGC 4657.  All these are part of a group of galaxies at a distance of around 30 million light years.  The sky was a bit mucky last night but Bizibilder managed three hours of exposure in 5min subs.

Techie:  SW ED80 PRO f/6.5  Canon 1000D ISO800 36x5min subs processed in DSS, PS CS5 and Noel’s Actions.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

M3 Globular Cluster in Canes Venatici

Picture saved with settings embedded.

A similar (but brighter and larger) globular cluster of stars.  It contains around half a million stars and is around 34,000 light years from earth.  You can also see NGC5263 – a spiral galaxy – top centre of the image.

Techie:  SW ED80PRO at f/6.5  Canon 1000D unmodded ISO800, 2h of 5min subs guided with a SW 80mm refractor and SPC900 webcam.  29 Dark frames and 25 Flats.  Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and PS CS5 and a little help from “Noel’s Actions”.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Globula Cluster M53 (NGC 5204) in Coma Berenices

Picture saved with settings embedded.

This globular cluster of stars is part of our Galaxy (the Milky Way).  Although it is 58,000 light years away from the Solar System.  The image, taken last night, is made up of 18x5 min exposures (totalling 1h 30m).  Although the sky was “clear” there was considerable “high haze” which meant that “seeing” was not that good, however Bizibilder is happy that he has managed to get another successful ”guided” image!

Techie:  SW ED80PRO at f/6.5  Canon 1000D unmodded ISO800, 1h 30min of 5min subs guided with a SW 80mm refractor and SPC900 webcam.  29 Dark frames and 24 Flats.  Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and PS CS5 and a little help from “Noel’s Actions”.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Picture of the week!!

Bizibilder is dead chuffed!!  The picture of the Moon’s North Polar region has just been selected as “Picture of the week” on the “Astronomy Shed” website/forum!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Moons North Pole

Moon North Pole 16 4 2011

As the Moon orbits the Earth it “wobbles” or librates – which means that, from Earth, we can see up to 59% of the surface (But never more than 50% at any one time – He He!!).  This picture shows the extreme North West of the Moon (The  moon’s North Pole is just about at the top RH corner of the picture) and there are several craters etc. visible that are not normally on view.

18 pane mosaic taken with SW180 PRO and SPC900 webcam 600/1200 frames stacked.

Saturn again

Saturn 16 Apr 2011 aSaturn 16 Apr 2011 b

A couple of Saturn’s from last night – ‘twas a bit hazy but the results are reasonable.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Another Moon mosaic

April Moon                                                                        11 April 2011 a

Full Size of this one - which is B I G ! !

Another mosaic taken last night – thirty video stacks to make this one each of 1200 frames.  The scope was the 180 Mak-Cass.  It took over two hours to collect all the data and the computer took another three to process it all!!  The second mosaic, which is quite a bit smaller, is eight videos merged to give the one image.  And all from the little metal shed in Bizibilder’s back garden……….

Monday, 11 April 2011

And a little Saturn!!

Saturn 2  f15 9 Apr 2011

Bizibilder thinks this is better than the other Saturn recently posted – same night (Friday) but a bit more care with the processing this time!  Also a different “movie” used.

A few Moons from last Friday


These three are all mosaics of the Moon taken last Friday evening.  Each is composed of around six frames.  These were made using a webcam and an f/15 Mak-Cass telescope.  Each video was 1200 frames and the best 300 were used.  Further processing in Avistack and PS CS5.  All are North at the top.

It was Bizibilder’s intention to get a “whole” Moon mosaic but this was not to be (for technical reasons – NOT that Bizibilder managed to “miss” a few bits when making the final mosaic!!!)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Saturn with rings and things

Saturn 9 Apr 2011 aSaturn JPEG f30

Taken last night by making a movie of 1200 frames and the using the computer to select the 600 “best” and stacking them to produce this image.  Bizibilder is rather pleased (he usually is!!). As you can clearly see the “Cassini Division” in the rings as well as the faint banding on the planet itself.  At the moment Saturn is very low in the sky, from the UK, and is quite tricky to image.  The larger image was taken with an extra 2x Barlow lens in the optical train.

Techie:  7” Maksutov-Cassagrain at f/15 and f/30.  webcam at 10fps 600/1200 frames stacked.  Seeing reasonable with quite a bit of “boiling”.  Image processed in Avistack, Registax and PS CS5

Saturday, 9 April 2011

M51–(3 hours guided) Friday 8th April 2011

Picture saved with settings embedded.Moon ED80

Bizibilder has taken another step down the long road towards better Astro Imaging!  He has finally taken a fully guided image – by attaching a second telescope to the main imaging scope and using a webcam Bizibilder was able to “lock onto” a star and allow his computer to keep that star perfectly “fixed” in position on the image.  Thus there were no wasted images and Bizibilder was able to go up to five minute exposures at a time without any trailing caused by equipment errors and mechanical defects showing themselves.  The galaxy shown is called M51 – it has a companion with which it is interacting.  I have appended a quick snapshot of the Moon (taken with exactly the same optics) to show comparative sizes of the objects (see also m42, the Rosette and M101 in posts below).

Techie:  SW ED80 PRO, Canon 1000D ISO 800 , HEQ5 mount.  36 x 5min subs = 3h 00min total.  31 Flats, 29 darks, Guiding via SW ST80 and Phillips SPC900 webcam and PHD software.  Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and PS CS5 (inc. Noel’s Actions).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Rosette Nebula

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Bizibilder’s first attempt at a Nebula (gas cloud) using his DSLR camera (these objects are very red and a normal DSLR has a filter to cut these wavelengths out!!).  Anyway, he had a go and managed this in 58 minutes of exposure.  This object is HUGE – the full moon would easily fit into the central ”dark” area.  You can see some dark dust clouds in the lower part of the nebula.