SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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NGC 2264 (Cone Nebula/Xmas Tree 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: Orion ED80 (80mm f/7.5 APO Refractor)
Configuration: Focal Reduced
Additional Optics: William Optics 2" APO 0.8x Reducer/Field Flattener
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 480mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/6
Exposure: 32 x 8min @ ISO 1600
Total Exposure: 4hrs, 16min
Date: 2/23/2006 7:40:35 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

Image Description:

This is NGC 2264, aka, the Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster in the constellation of Monoceros. The Christmas Tree Cluster is upside down, and its outline can be seen by mousing-over the image above. (Javascript must be enabled to see the effect.) The Cone Nebula (LDN 1613) is actually the Dark Nebula superimposed on the background emission nebula.

This is another extremely faint nebula, which 4+ hours of exposure barely brings out - at least under light polluted skies. I again used longer exposures (8min) and higher ISO (1600) in order to better resolve the nebula.

A higher-resolution image is also available. North is up.

 
M3 (Globular Cluster)
SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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Latest news

December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!

Links:

M3 (Globular Cluster)   [obsolete]

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: Negative Projection (Barlowed)
Additional Optics: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 2250mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/11.1
Exposure: 12 x 2min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 24min
Date: 6/1/2005 10:40:31 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, Flat field, Best frame selection, Registration, Gradient removal, Richardson-Lucy deconvolution, LRGB computation, ASINH stretching
  • JimP: RGB to Luminance conversion (NTSC weighting), Kappa-Sigma stacking, White balance
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is M3, a Globular Cluster in the constellation of Canes Venatici. This was taken on a night of better seeing and less wind than the night of my M13 image. Even though most of the frames showed tracking and flexure problems, the 12 that remained gave a nice stack, and Richardson-Lucy deconvolution tightened it up a bit further. This is the full frame, shrunk for display on the web. The full-resolution image is also available. North is up.