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Friday, October 24, 2014

First light image, for my new observatory setup, finalized




This is an official first light for my new imaging setup. It's mechanically and optically much more advanced, than my old setup. It's also much more photon hungry due to good image scale, around one pixel/arcsecond.
For example, I needed only 2,5h of H-alpha exposures per panel to have a very good signal in this image.
This is a really capable set of tools for my art. 

The first light image

I selected a well known and popular target for the first light. It's so much imaged, than it's easy to make comparisons between my old images and others in the web. How ever, I wanted to have a little different view to this target and decided to shoot a two panel mosaic out of it. The idea was concentrated to the dark dust lanes and filaments in the area, not the eye catching gas formations itself.

The Pelican Nebula
in constellation Cygnus, click for a large image

Image is in visual spectrum from emission of the ionized elements. The original image is ~8000x4000 pixels.

Pelican Nebula in mapped colors
Click for a large image

Image is in mapped colors from emission of the ionized elements, Red=Sulfur, Green=Hydrogen and the Blue =Oxygen.

Vertical versions
Click for a large image





Orientation

The white rectangle shows the area of interest. Colors are also borrowed from this older wide field image.

Technical details

Processing work flow
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge telescope

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-aplha

Total exposure time
H-alpha 2,5h / panel

Colorimages
Colors are taken from an older wide field image of the area.
The wide field image can be seen here:
http://astroanarchy.blogspot.fi/2011/12/cygnus-mosaic-18-panels-and-22-x-14.html


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Variable star in the Pelican Nebula



I'll continue with the Pelican nebula tonight, if the weather allows. My goal is to make a two frame mosaic out of this beautiful area.

I made a comparison between my older image from Autumn 2009 and the new one from October 19. 2014.
I noticed a variable star at the image and I made a small animation out of it.

Variable star in the Pelican Nebula, an animation
Click for a large image

Animation between two images, one from Autumn 2009, the other from this Autumn

The whole image of the Pelican Nebula can be seen HERE

The variable star is an Emission-line Star 2MASS J20503695+4421408 

Here is a SIMBAD database report out of it:
http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=%4058843&Name=2MASS%20J20503695%2b4421408&submit=submit



Sunday, October 19, 2014

First light for a new observatory



After a long time, a new photography! This is a first light for my new imaging setup and the observatory location. My observatory locates now at middle of the city, next to my home.


There are only 3h of H-alpha filtered light for this first light image of the Pelican Nebula. Original image size was 4096 x 4096 pixels and the image scale is 0.95 arcsecond/ pixel. Field of view is 63 x 63 arcminutes, that's little over a square degree of sky. (A full Moon has an apparent angular diameter of 30 arcminutes, that's half a degree.)

Pelican Nebula, the first light image
Click for a full size view.

This is image shows the emission of ionized hydrogen alone. Exposure time only 3h.

Image above is an uncropped frame, it's stacked from nine 20 min, exposures. Stars are absolute pinpoints from edge to edge! Seeing wasn't very good at the time, FWHM around 3,5 arcseconds. I was very surprised about the image, since the Celestron Edge HD 1100 shouldn't be able to lit this massive CCD 100%. There are some darkenings at corners but the flat frame was able to calibrate it away. Image above is uncropped, just couple of dozens pixels are cut away from sides due to some stacking artefacts.

I have now the 50mm square Astrodon narrow band filters. They are much narrower, than the Baader set I used to have. H-alpha passband is 5nm, the Baader was 7nm wide. Even large difference is with O-III and S-II filters, they both are 3nm wide, the Baader was 8,5nm for O-III and 8nm for S-II.
The narrower passband means more toleration against light pollution, more nebula details and smaller stars.

The 10-Micron mount from Italy is an absolute mechanical masterpiece! Maximum guiding error during a 20min. exposure was about 0,4 arcseconds at both axes. Pointing accuracy is stunning, any target was just middle of crosshair after a slew. 

The Apogee Alta U16 is a finest camera I have ever used! It's very heavy and the CCD is massive, 4096 x 4096, 9 micron pixels. Image below show the size difference between the KAF 8300 CCD-chip, I used before, and the KAF 16803 CCD-chip in my new camera. KAF 8300 is a great CCD but the KAF 16803 is much more suitable for large telescopes with long focal length.



Color images

I borrowed colors from my older wide field image for now. I'll shoot new color channels for this target as soon as the weather permits. I'll also shoot couple of hours more H-alpha lights for better signal to noise.

Mapped colors
Click for a large image, image is little cropped for a visual composition only.


Visual spectrum



A data from this image was used for colors 

The area of interest is marked as white rectangle.

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics

Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge telescope

Cameras and filters

Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar
Astrodon filter, 5nm H-aplha

Exposure time

H-alpha 3h

Colorimages

Colors are taken from an older wide field image of the area.
The wide field image can be seen here:
http://astroanarchy.blogspot.fi/2011/12/cygnus-mosaic-18-panels-and-22-x-14.html






Monday, October 13, 2014

Cygnus panorama



While waiting the weather to clear, I reprocessed my older material to keep up my skills. This one turned to be so nice. I decided to publish it here.

Cygnus Panorama 
Click for a large image. Note. A largish file, 2400 x 1100 pixels and 3.6MB

A mosaic photo of constellation Cygnus in narrowband colors, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Note. The "noise" at background is not a noise but massive amount of stars!


Labeled 
Click for a large image

Note. A relative size of the Moon is marked at lower Right corner


An original photo and processing, with the technical details, can be seen HERE