SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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NGC 6309 (Box Nebula)

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Negative Projection (Barlowed)
Additional Optics: TeleVue 2x Barlow
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 2844mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/14.2
Exposure: 25 x 1min @ ISO 3200
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 25min
Date: 7/5/2004, ~10:30pm PDT
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: None
Guiding: None

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat field, registration, stacking
  • Photoshop: Noise reduction, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

NGC 6309, the Box Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It's a fairly dim target, having a mean surface brightness of only 11.0 (Mag per square arc-second). As with the other images shot at this focal length, this magnification pushes the limits of my mount, especially without [auto]-guiding. Only 25 of the 54 frames were useable. The rest showed severe smearing/trailing and had to be tossed. This is a crop of the full-size frame. North is up.

 
NGC 6946 (Spiral Galaxy)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

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NGC 6946 (Spiral Galaxy)

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

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
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: 30 x 4min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 0min
Date: 9/16/2004, ~11:10pm PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat field, registration, normalized Kappa-Sigma stacking, background fit, cropping
  • Photoshop: Levels, image size, JPG conversion

Image Description:

In the lower left is NGC 6946, a spiral galaxy that straddles the border between the constellations of Cygnus and Cepheus. In the upper right is NGC 6939, an open cluster in Cepheus. This is two full hours of total exposure time and is one of my best images to date. This is the full frame, scaled for display on the web. A full-resolution image is also available. North is up.

NEWSFLASH!! Supernova 2004et occurred less than 6 days after this image was taken! Mouse-over the image below to see the supernova discovery image. Note how there's absolutely no sign of that star in my image, yet six days later it's as bright as some stars in our own galaxy!

 
NGC 6820 & NGC 6823 (Emission 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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Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!

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NGC 6820 & NGC 6823 (Emission 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: 40 x 4min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 2hrs, 40min
Date: 8/30/2005 9:41:31 PM PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

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

Image Description:

This is a "do over" of NGC 6820, an Emission Nebula in the constellation of Vulpecula. In my previous attempt with an unmodified camera, I was unable to capture the faint Hα emission nebula, and was only able to capture the open cluster NGC 6823. The modified camera excels in shots like this. A high-resolution image is also availble. North is up.