SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M86 (Part of Markarian's Chain)

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: n/a (Prime)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 12 x 60sec @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 12min
Date: 5/13/2004, 1:30am PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat frame, registration and stacking
  • Photoshop: Noise reduction, image scale (1/4 x), JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is a portion of a string of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo known as Markarian's Chain. North is up.

 
Jupiter
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

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Jupiter   [obsolete]

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Eyepiece Projection
Additional Optics: Celestron "Kit" 9mm Plössl
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 6650mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/33.2
Exposure: 20 x 0.3 second @ ISO 100
Date: 6/21/2004, 9:41pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: Manual
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: registration, stacking, wavelet processing, cropping
  • Photoshop: Saturation, levels, JPG conversion

Image Description:

A decent Jupiter picture, but DSLRs just can't compete with webcams for planetary imaging in my opinion. The dark spot in the center of the North Equatorial Band is Jupiter's moon Ganymede. The pale, reddish patch on the far right side of the South Equatorial Band is Jupiter's Great Red Spot, affectionately known these days as the Great Pale Spot, since it's color has faded over the years. This is a crop of the full-size image. Earth's North is up, so Jupiter appears tilted counter-clockwise by 23.5°.

 
NGC 7635 & M52 (Bubble Nebula & Open Cluster)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

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NGC 7635 & M52 (Bubble Nebula & Open Cluster)

Mouse-over to see annotations. (Requires Javascript) Click to see high-res version.

Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Canon Rebel XT (350D): Hutech Type I Filter Replacement
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 45 x 4min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 3hrs, 0min
Date: 12/2/2005 7:34:47 PM PST (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: GADFly 1.0.5
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion
  • Neat Image: Noise reduction

Image Description:

This is NGC 7635, aka the Bubble Nebula, and open cluster M52 in the constellation of Cassiopeia. I used shorter subexposures (4min) at a lower ISO (400) than some previous shots (8min, ISO 800) in order to prevent severe over-saturation of the bright stars in M52. It worked pretty well, at the expense of slightly less detail in the faint regions of the Bubble Nebula. It was nice to get outside and grab this shot, as the weather here has been awful and I was in danger of a complete "shutout" this cycle. A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.