WYAS Telescope Pad + Orion

These two photos were taken on the evening of the 12th January 2012

A few club members opened up the dome as the viewing was excellent. Some telescopes were set up for viewing.

Using a Canon 40D DSLR with 17-25mm lens at the 17mm end with f3.5, with an exposure of 13sec @ISO 800 mounted on a tri-pod produced these two photos.

The Orion constellation can clearly be seen in the sky. Including the Orion nebula but faintly.

Orion Nebula January 23rd and March 27th 2012

The Orion Nebula also known as M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebula, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 light years away and is the closest region of massive star formations to Earth. M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across.

January 23rd 2012
This image of Orion was taken with the WYAS 14" Meade SCT.

I used my Canon 40D with an f6.3 reducer to enlarge the view area to capture the full expanse of the Nebula. The image consists of 15 out of 30, 60 second exposures taken at ISO 500. This is approx. 15 minutes exposure time.Stacked in DSS (Deep Sky Stacker), saved as a 32Bit TIF file and then final processing was done in CS5.

Final processing can adjust the tones, color and overall image to show different parts of the Nebula.

The two images to the right are the same base image file but they have been processed differently in the final CS5 processing. 

Which do you prefer??

 March 27th 2012

This image was taken at a WYAS open night on the Telescope pad.
This image is a stack of 38 x 20sec. frames @ ISO 640 using my Canon 40D on my Celestron 8" U2K SCT. This is approx. 12.6 minutes exposure time. Images taken in RAW were stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software to create a composite image with final image processing done in CS5. 
Note the overall exposure on all these images has not burnt out the star cluster in the middle of Orion. However, you can see that the blacks on the upper two images are much better than the lower image. This is partly due to the position of Orion in the sky in March and visibility in March was slightly cloudy which has not given as clear an image.   HOWEVER, it does show that you can obtain acceptable images even when seeing is not as good as it could be. 

Full Moon Mosaic

March 5th 2012  at WYAS

This image is the first Mosaic created using the WYAS Watec 120N Image Camera purchased at the end of 2011. This highly sensitive camera can be used not only to create images of Deep Sky objects at extremely long distances with Very Low Light levels, it can also work quiet happily on the very bright Full Moon. The camera is indeed a  great piece of kit for the society and its members to use.

This image was created using 63 .avi files each file being 1.1Mb in size, each .avi is then processed in RegiStax, each .tif image in then cropped and using CS5, is assembled to give the final image using the 63 separate images. .avi collection took 2 1/2 hours and final processing in excess of 12 hours .

This sort of image creation takes time and patience.

Mars and Saturn

27th March 2012 at the WYAS open night on theTelescope Pad

Here are two photos of Mars and Saturn. Both photo's have been taken with Philips SPC800 Web Cam, 8" Celestron U2K SCT, 4x Barlow for enlarged images. The .avi files are then processed in RegiStax to give a single image and then are finally processed to enhance the image a little in CS5

These planets are viewable over the next few months weather permitting, more images should be available soon.


Crescent Moon Mosaic

This is a photo mosaic of the crescent moon on the 26th March 2012.   This was taken using a Phillips SPC800 Web cam on my 8" Celestron U2K SCT. It consists of 25 .avi files taken using iMerge to ensure a full image was captured. Then the .avi files are processed to give single images which are then merged in iMerge to give this image on the right.

Final processing is then done in CS5 to achieve this final image as below on the RIGHT. The image immediately below for comparison is a composite of 31 images on my Canon 40D DSLR stacked to give the final crescent moon.

Which do you prefer ????

Star Trails

14th April 2012 

Thought I would have a go at a simple Star Trail. This one was done using my Canon 40D DSLR, a 17-35mm Lens set at the 17mm end (Camera effective size 17mm  x 1.6 due to crop ratio or 27mm). This photo is 540 exposures at 15 secs @ISO 500 stacked with CS5 HD Merge option. 

Glynn and his new Scope!

17th April 2012 at WYAS

Glynn Willock testing out his new chair mounted, Boultonian Reflector. Lovely views of Venus's crescent were seen despite initial scepticism amongst the gathered members!

Markarian's Chain - 13/04/2012

This is an image of Markarian's Chain, which is a curved line of galaxies forming part of the Virgo galaxy cluster. It is named after the Armenian astrophysicist B. E. Markarian who identified their common motion.
The galaxies include M84, M86, NGC4477, NGC 4473, NGC4461, NGC4458, NGC4438 and NGC4435. Although I can count at least 15 galaxies in the image.
I haven't identified the pasky satellite tracking through the left hand side of the shot!

The image is a stack of around 28 one minute exposures at ISO800, taken using a Canon EOS550d stuck on the back of a William Optics Zenithstar80. An IDAS LPS filter was also used. Stacking was done by DeepSkyStacker and processing by GIMP.

The Moon, Venus, Jupiter and the Winter Constellations

This image was taken on 25th March 2012 and shows the Moon, Venus and Jupiter alongside the great Winter Constellations of Orion and Taurus. In the foreground is Darrington Church.

The image was taken with a Canon EOS550d on a tripod. Exposure was 15 seconds at f3.5, ISO 200 and a focal length of 18mm.