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Stronge Astrophotography

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September 2003

 

For Astrophotography On A Budget resources
and links to the software we use, click here.

Mars Reprocessed

The skies have not been favourable for imaging lately due to high winds and turbulence so we have reprocessed our Mars avi in the new Registax version 2 beta and produced a significantly better image. The new Registax can automatically compensate for Red shift and this has resulted in a much sharper image.


Click on image for annotated image of Mars

October 2003

The Dumbbell Nebula

Over 1000 light years away at Mag7.3 with a surface brightness of 11.20, the Dumbbell Nebula was the first planetary nebula ever discovered. On July 12, 1764, Charles Messier discovered this new and fascinating class of objects, and describes this one as an oval nebula without stars. It is located between the constellation of Cygnus and star Altair in the constellation of Vulpecula.

The photograph below was taken with our Meade 10" LX200 SCT at F/6.3 with a 40mm Scopetronix eyepiece coupled afocally to a Minolta Dimage 7, 5megapixel consumer digital camera. We took 41 images of 30 second ISO800 exposures, unguided, out of which we used 29 images for stacking. We staceked the images in Registax using the noise reduction, and contrast boost to produce a final image. We took the final 16-bit TIFF file and adjusted the colour balance and saturation in Paint Shop Pro 8.

Using Calsky.com, we were able to work out that our limiting magnitude was around 16.5

 

November 2003

Wide Field!!!

Well, we finally got around to purchasing a piggy-back mount and took 11 images of the Pleiades. We used our Minolta Dimage 7 digital camera at ISO100, 30 second exposure with auto-dark frame, at f3.5 aperture. The ISO was set on automatic, but next time we will just go for ISO800 and use more frames to stack and remove any CCD noise. 11 iamges were aligned and stacked in Registax, contrast boosted and gamma and brightness adjusted. Final tweaking was done in Paint Shop Pro 8. You can see that we are picking up a little nebulosity. If you have a very good monitor, you can see the nebulosity that extends down from the bottom right star - this is not noise as it is different in variation. Limiting magnitude is around 13.8.

Click on the image for a large resolution photo. The photo to the right is a wide field showing the full frame capture.

 

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If you have any photos or video of the sky at night that you would like shown on the EAAS website please get in touch using the e-mail below:

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