Astrophotography in Central Mass 

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March 2016 Jupiter Astrophotography

Published on 2016-04-03, by

Jupiter 2016-03-30

Jupiter 2016-03-30

Jupiter with Io and a healthy Great Red Spot

Last week, I was able to produce my best image of Jupiter to date. The seeing indices were quite poor due to a rapid jet stream and the night was gusty; we’ll take any clear sky we can get in Massachusetts!

I shot approximately 30 second videos with my Basler A102f and Firecapture using LRGB filters. I then processed the sets of four videos with PIPP followed by Autostakkert!2 (alpha version) and finally some processing in Adobe Photoshop. I have been using Noise Ninja to sharpen the images with good success.

PIPP Setup for Jupiter 2016-03-30

PIPP Setup for Jupiter 2016-03-30

I loaded each video into PIPP in batch planetary mode. I won’t provide an exhaustive list of the options chosen in this post. If you are curious send me a message using the contact form.

Autostakkert!2 Setup for Jupiter 2016-03-30

Autostakkert!2 Setup for Jupiter 2016-03-30

Finally, I processed each resulting mono video in Autostakkert!2. I also experimented with the alpha release version checking out the Gaussian blur pre-processing feature that sometimes help with aligning frames. The end results were fed into Photoshop as layers that were colorized and stacked LRGB with screen blending for the colors and luminance blending for the top lum layer.

 
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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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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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The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing

Published on 2015-10-21, by

The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing; Willmann-Bell 2000WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder  

 
© 2015 Charles Kelley Stevenson