New H-Alpha Gallery

M42_in Ha

M42_in Ha

A new H-Alpha image gallery has been added to the gallery pages, under the Nebula tab.  This gallery contains monochrome images using the 7nm Orion H-Alpha filter.

You’ll notice a new format for this gallery.  This format allows the images to be shown full screen and is less restrictive than the old format.  It also allows image details to be included.  Just click on the image to bring up the details, and then the view more button for the full size image.  Seeing the full size image will also highlite all of the defects in my processing skills.

Eventually all of the image galleries will be converted to this new format.

Most of the images were captured before, or after asteroid measurement runs, so most of them were captured with only 1-2 hours of data collection. At a later date if additional RGB data is captured, those images will be added to the Nebula gallery.  I find it striking that so much contrast and detail can be captured in monochrome images. I hope you enjoy them. 

Here’s a link to the page  http://www.tdo.space/hydrogen-alpha/

Monkey Head Nebula

NGC 2174/2175 consists of the  Monkey Head emission nebula, and its associated star cluster.  It is approximately 6,400 light years distant, located in the constellation Orion.

The top image is the Ha image as processed in Photoshop.  The second image was processed the same way, but the popular red tone in the Ha image was added using Caboni’s astronomy tools, a set of plugins for Photoshop.

When I have the opportunity, I hope to add a few more hours of Ha data, and RGB for the star colors. 

Below is the capture data:

Object: NGC 2174/2175 Monkey Head Nebula
Constellation: Orion
Telescope: ES127mm F7.5 APO Refractor
Mount: Paramount MX+
Camera: ATIK One 6.0
Filters: Orion 7nm Ha
Guide Scope: OAG
Guide Camera: SBIG STi
Total Integration: 80 minutes
Image Capture: SkyX camera addon
Guiding: SkyX
Stacking/calibration: MaximDl
Post Processing:Photoshop CS5

 

Asteroid Data Updated

Time has finally permitted me to update the summary observation data for my asteroid measurements.  To date I have measured 149 asteroids, with 523 measurements.  The data is in spreadsheet form, and includes links to the MPC documentation with details for the measurements.

The data included is the observation date, the full MPC designation, the asteroid classification, the average magnitude of the measurements, the number of images captured for the observations, and the number of observations submitted to the MPC.   If you go to the MPC link just search for my observatory code, W33, to find my measurements.

Here’s the link:   http://www.tdo.space/mpc-data/

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest large galaxy, 2.5 million light  years distant  from the Milky Way.  Both galaxies are part of the local group of approximately 25 galaxies, that include M32, M110, M33, and many dwarf galaxies.  M31 is visible naked eye in a dark sky, and spans the width of 6 full moons.  The entire span of the galaxy is only visible in long exposure photography.

The data for this image was supplied by the staff at Deepsky West observatories (deepskywest.com).  Deepsky West is a remote observatory site in Rowe, New Mexico that offers remote hosting services for astro-imagers, as well as subscription plans for image data.  The data I used for M31 was supplied free by DSW, as a sample of the quality data available from this site.  Creating a beautiful image is  dependent on the skills of the person processing the image , but the sky conditions of seeing, transparency, and light pollution play a very important role as well, in determining the quality of the final image. 

The data for this image consisted of more that 12.5 hours of LRGB data.  I used Maximdl to combine the RGB subs and did the post processing using Photoshop CS5.

NGC 6992 (Eastern Veil)

NGC 6992, 2 panel mosaic

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Wild Acres Star Party in Little Switzerland, NC.  This star party is sponsored by the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers and is an extension of the Southern Star Astronomy Conference held in the spring.  We had two nights of exceptional conditions.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to do some asteroid hunting with Roger Harvey (4278), a well-known visual asteroid observer.  Roger has over 6000 asteroid observations to his credit. We hunted down two asteroids.  The first was a really faint asteroid, Apollo type, 2017 PR25.  It was very faint at magnitude 16+ and was not seen in my 15” Newtonian, even though we positively identified the field it was passing through. 

The second asteroid was a bit brighter as it made a flyby of Earth.  That was (3122) Florence, an Amor type asteroid named in honor of Florence Nightingale. We were able to watch it pass through the field at magnitude 13.5.  It was a great experience working with Roger and learning some of his techniques.

Those same nights we observed many targets including the Veil Nebula.  We were astonished by the amount of detail we were able to see through the 15”.  It was as if we were looking at a picture, only in black and white.  The detail in the nebulosity was incredible.  We all agreed, it was the best we had ever seen it. The entire Veil , including Pickering’s Triangle, NGC 6974, and 6979 including all of the faint nebulosity below them were clear and well defined.

The view inspired me so much, I decided to attempt my first mosaic image, putting together 2 frames with overlapping fields to capture a larger field than my ccd can normally capture.  The image above is of the Eastern veil, (I call it the hook), which includes NGC 6992, NGC6995, and IC1340.

This was my first mosaic image and took some time to get everything working correctly to stitch the images together with Microsoft ICE, and get the background equalized. The images were captured on 10/4, and 10/11/17.

Data:

Object: NGC 6992 (Eastern Veil)
Constellation: Cygnus
Telescope: ES127mm F7.5 APO Refractor
Mount: Paramount MX+
Camera: ATIK One 6.0
Filters: Orion 7nm Ha
Guide Scope: OAG
Guide Camera: SBIG STi
Total Integration: 2 hrs. 20 min. [(14) x 600 seconds, each panel]
Image Capture: SkyX camera addon
Guiding: SkyX
Stacking/calibration: Maxdl/SkyX
Mosaic stitching: Microsoft ICE
Post Processing:Photoshop CS5- Carboni’s Astronomy Tools