Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Jupiter and its Moon Io (and Io’s shadow)

Found a break in the clouds and took these last night:

30 December 2013 Jupiter

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Crab reprocessed–and 10 hours of data thrown away!!

Just to see if i could improve my Crab Nebula project i have been through all the 5min subs (all 276 of them!) and discarded any that showed any signs of haze, fuzziness, excess light pollution, etc and restacked the "good" ones.  This resulted in a discard of 10 hours of data - the resulting image is made up from 13hours and 30 mins of 5 min subs.  It has certainly had a dramatic effect!!:

Link to full size:  Full Size M1

2000 Px square crop: 9Click to see full size)

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And a full size crop of the nebula:

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

M1 The Crab Nebula or “Nearly Twenty Four hours with a DSLR”

I think I have finally finished my attempt at the crab nebula - Five long sessions with a total exposure time of 23 hours.  I have made several attempts at processing and think I may be somewhere near - but it has been a struggle!



Jan 12th 2013  2 hours 55 min
Dec 4th 2013   3 hours 00 min
Dec 25th 2013  3 hours 45 min
Dec 27th 2013  6 hours 40 min
Dec 28th 2013  6 hours 40 min

Evostar ED120 APO, with reducer/flattener on an EQ6/EQMOD guided using PHD.  Modded Canon 1000D at ISO 800.

5min subs - a total of 276 making 23hours 00mins.  Processed in DSS and PS CS5.

The Full DSLR frame has been cropped to 2000px square.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/11632146924_91451fae21_o.jpg   - Click this link to see original full size, A reduced version is below: (Click to enlarge)

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Just the nebula full size – Click on the image:

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Another winter Sun

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Saturday, 28 December 2013

A nice clear winter Sun!

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Good conditions and seeing today (I'll have to moan about something - it was quite breezy!!).  68/140 stacked using RAW.  Processed in PIPP, Registax5 and PS CS5, grid from "Tilting Sun".

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Back to my Crab Nebula Project

I managed another session on M1 last night (Christmas Day). For the first time ever I suffered from dewing problems and had to break out the dew heaters!

Anyway - this is now a total of 9 hours 40 mins of 5 min subs and the nebula is starting to really show up quite well. (As is my less than good processing!). Evostar ED 120 APO with reducer, Modded Canon 1000D at ISO 800, EQ6 and EQMOD, guided with an ST80/QHY5 and PHD.

I make that: 116 x 5min lights, around 72 flats, 28 darks and 24 bias to make up the image. Processed in DSS and PS CS5.

First a 2000x2000Px crop from the full frame: (Click images to enlarge)Picture saved with settings embedded.

"Full size" crop of the Nebula:Picture saved with settings embedded.


And just for an idea of scale - the circle represents roughly the size of the Full Moon:M1 9h 40m scale

Next clear night I hope to get a few more hours on this target!!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Day Sun

Todays effort - again sticking to JPEG's with the Sun low and a tree getting in the way! 53/300 stacked in R5 tweaked in PS CS5.

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Monday, 23 December 2013

First proper Jupiter session of the year!

Click to enlarge:

22-23 December 2013 Jupiter

And a little movie (about 1/3 of a revolution of the planet!)  Jupiter spins pretty quickly – about 10 hours for a complete revolution (=one Jupiter day).  Io is the moon that appears from behind the planet. The Great Red Spot seems to have “reddened” since last year.  Forty frames – one frame every 5 minutes.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Mid-Winter Sun

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Today's Sun through a little break in the clouds.  The seeing was better than it has been of late but the Sun is so low that it was still difficult to get a decent image, hence trying 300 JPEGS and stacking the best 85. (I can fire off JPEG's almost continuously - RAW images take a few seconds to download and I simply didn't have a gap in the clouds long enough!).  Evostar 120mm Achromat - Baader film and stopped to 100mm, Canon 1100D - 1/1250 sec at ISO 100, EQ5.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A murky Sun

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14 December 2013 Active Areas

Through the muck and the mire this morning - hence the poor quality (The Sun was at an altitude above the horizon of 13°).  The AR pictures were stacks of around 130 from 2000 frames - any more and the quality plummeted from awful to worse!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Pulsar!

A few folk have pointed out that my Crab Nebula picture contains an image of the “Pulsar” in the middle of the nebula – this is the remains of the original star that went supernova in the year 1054.  The pulsar itself was discovered in 1968.  It pulses at a rate of 30 times a second.  It is the fainter of the two stars in the middle of the cloud of rapidly expanding gas and dust:

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Crab Nebula–combined data from two nights

I took 3 hours of the Crab the other night (see post below) and have now processed these along with an additional 2h 40 mins that I took last January.  Thus a total exposure time of 5h 40mins.  I was also able to be selective with my subs and manually discarded 20 or so from the January batch before processing - they were a bit "bright" due, probably, to home high haze that night.  Evostar ED120APO with flattener, Canon 1000D (modded), stacked in DSS and processed in PS CS5.

First a generous crop from the center of the original stacked frame (for scale – the Sun or Moon would just fit in the top image):  Click on images to get full size.

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And secondly a full size version cropped from the above – quite a bit of detail showing through!!

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Friday, 6 December 2013

First Jupiter of the season!

5 December 2013 Jupiter

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A couple of old favourites to test my new telescope mount:

A couple of images from Wednesday night - official "first light" for my new EQ6 with good PA and guiding all working.  All taken with the Evostar ED120APO (with flattener/reducer), Modded Canon 1000D (with SW LP filter), ST80/QHY5/PHD guiding.

The Pleiades: 1hour 30 mins (24 x 5min subs), 24 Flats, 28 Darks at 6°C (ambient), 72 Bias.

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M1 The Crab Nebula: 3hours (36 x 5min subs), 24 Flats, 28 Darks at 6°C (ambient), 36 Bias.

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Click on pictures to enlarge.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Finally a clear sky!!

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Quite a bit going on with the Sun – I just never get to see it due to the clouds!!