Astrophotography in Central Mass 

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Aldrich Rails Installation (frame by frame)

Published on 2015-11-15, by
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Flame Nebula and Horsehead

Published on 2015-11-09, by

After the Triangulum Galaxy headed into the trees, I slewed the ‘scope over to the Flame Nebula which was just coming out from behind a tall tree to the South.  This is the same small window of opportunity that afforded the recent attempts at Orion Nebula.  As much as I love trees, I’m looking forward to opening the view significantly allowing many hours of exposures on targets that fly low. When I processed the images I was excited to see, for the first time on my own equipment, the Horsehead Nebula adjacent the Flame Nebula.  I don’t have many exposures to work with but here’s a good start.  Feedback welcome through the contact page.

Flame Nebula & Horsehead

Flame Nebula & Horsehead

 
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Triangulum Galaxy Revisited

Published on 2015-11-09, by

This is my second or third attempt at imaging the Triangulum galaxy as an astrophotography target.  I was finally able to get some sharpness and detail thanks to better optical alignment.  It moves quickly out of reach beyond the trees so there weren’t many exposures to combine.  This is a mashup of 30s exposures @ ISO 25600, 30s exposures @ ISO 6400, and 60s exposures @ ISO 6400 taken with the Canon EOS 6D DSLR. The exposures were registered and stacked in Deep Sky Stacker then processed with Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS6. Within Photoshop the processing involved several fantastic plugins including Noise Ninja, Gradient Xterminator, and Hasta La Vista Green (HVLG).

Triangulum Galaxy

Triangulum Galaxy

 
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Pleiades in November

Published on 2015-11-06, by

This is my latest attempt at imaging the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) open star cluster in Taurus. The “seeing” hasn’t been great lately and the moon was a factor on the 3rd.  Given the sky conditions, I’m pleased with the results. Use the contact form to offer feedback.

I’ve been working on the mechanical alignment of my Newtonian telescope trying to achieve the best possible light cone for round tight stars. I’ve also recently started using a Baader Planetarium MPCC multi-purpose coma corrector (PDF).  The corrector is a lens assembly that corrects the light cone as it passes through allowing round stars almost to the edge of the full frame sensor.  I highly recommend this product to anyone imaging with a fast Newtonian telescope!

M45 - Pleiades Open Cluster in Taurus

M45 – Pleiades Open Cluster in Taurus

 
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ATWB Pic of the Day (Oct. 27, 2015)

Published on 2015-10-29, by

I posted a few days ago about my favorite online astronomy forum Astromart and about Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird (ATWB)‘s customer gallery.  They’ve just launched a new site with enhanced gallery functionality that incorporates a social media integrated theme.  I love the idea that people can comment on photos I’ve taken and vice versa gaining feedback and building community. Here’s a screenshot from the Astromart forums with my latest Orion Nebula as pic of the day in their sidebar:

ATWB Pic of the Day (Oct. 27, 2015)

ATWB Pic of the Day (Oct. 27, 2015)

 
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Full Moon Negative

Published on 2015-10-25, by

The color negative of the full moon looks very similar to the moon during a total lunar eclipse.  This exposure (below) was taken with my 10″ f/4.5 Newtonian with a primary mirror figured and coated by Optic Wave Labs (OWL). I did very little in the way of processing the RAW file.  I ran the Noise Ninja plugin to cut down on the color noise inherent in DSLRs and to sharpen things up slightly.  Then I used Photoshop’s builtin color negative effect to invert everything.

LIGHT_Tv14000s_800iso_+79f_20151025-21h26m02s264ms_Negative

LIGHT_Tv14000s_800iso_+79f_20151025-21h26m02s264ms_Negative

 
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ATWB Pic of the Day (Oct. 25, 2015)

Published on 2015-10-25, by

My favorite online astronomy forum is Astromart, operated seemingly by Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird (ATWB).  In the beginning, that is not long after getting a telescope in December, I spent countless hours scrolling through the images uploaded by members and finding inspiration in the “picture of the day.”  In February, I took a photo of the quarter moon and uploaded it on a whim.  Sure enough it became the pic of the day.  Ever since I’ve made it a habit to upload my favorite bird, wildlife, and astrophotography.  Today, I logged into the forums and was delighted to see my best yet Andromeda galaxy photo.  It’s fun for an amateur to get a little recognition… a boost to keep on learning and experimenting… Here’s a screenshot:
ATWB Picture of the Day (Oct. 25, 2015)

 

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 III Lens for Sale

Published on 2015-08-18, by
© 2015 Charles Kelley Stevenson