Image captured by our member Brian Bennewith.
On Monday 4th June at about 12:40am, I managed to capture this attached picture of Saturn. I was using a Meade Lunar, Planitary Imager, (LPI), coupled to my Skywatcher 5.7 inch reflector telescope. The software is Meade Autostar Suite and the image is a composite of 10 separate images of better that 95% quality.
Comet Panstarrs captured 30th April by G Caller
Image of comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) captured by our member Graham Caller on 30th April 2013.
I captured Panstarrs on 30th April as it was just above Cassiopeia. A tricky one to find.
This image comprises 6 x 6 min lights that have been stacked in DSS using the very useful ‘comet stacking’ option.
Comet Halle-Boppe image taken 1997 by B Bennewith
Taken by our member, Brian Bennewith.
This Halle-Boppe picture was taken in Spring 1997 on a Zenith 35mm camera with a 5x zoom lens
20 sec on 200 ISO.
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy by Graham Caller
Another lovely astroimage from member Graham Caller. This is the interacting galaxies which make up M51, the “Whirlpool Galaxy” (as first listed by Charles Messier).
M51A and the smaller object M51B are interacting. You can even see this galaxy combination with decent binoculars (but not quite as clearly as in this image!).
“One M51 finished image attached.
Out of 18 images I got 10 usable that didn’t have noticable trailing. I suspect the defective shots were the result of periodic error in the mount tracking.
The 10 images stacked had flats and bias frames added but no darks as I haven’t taken 5 mins exposure darks before. That’s something to do on the cold and cloudy nights which we have no shortage of “
Image of M81 and M82 (above) captured by our member Graham Caller using a Canon Dslr.
“Amazing what a bit of accurate polar alignment does for the shots. I’d been having trouble with star trails appearing after 60 sec exposures.
A bit of research later, lots of learning how to polar align accurately without plugging into a computer or mastering drift aligning and voila 150 secs exposures. (I should have pushed 180 but that’s another night)
It was cold and late when I finished but imagine what another hour of data could show. Good to see less noise with longer exposures. Attached also (below) is my first attempt on 2nd Feb.”
M101 Pinwheel Galaxy by Graham Caller (stacked final)
M101 Pinwheel Galaxy (single unstacked image)
Image of the Pinwheel Galaxy M101, by our member Graham Caller.
The two images above (the finished final stacked image together with a single unstacked sub-image), clearly demonstrate the power of stacking many images of the same object. Deep Sky Stacker software was used.
The fruits of my labour over the last two evenings.
3.5 hours of photos with the best 3 hours stacked and processed.
M101 is 21 million light years from us. For perspective, Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away.
This was a tricky target as I couldn’t see it through the telescope and only just in a 1 mins exposure.
See attached example of a single frame and the finished stacked image. Perhaps display these side by side to demonstrate what can be achieved by stacking.
Last night Ted suggested taking images in fluorescent light setting (rather than the normal White Balance), based on advice on his Northern Lights trip.
So we did. Here is a resulting image of the Orion Nebula. The colour temperature of Fluorescent light is lower (warmer – more yellow)
The Canon dSLR has eight white balance presets on its cameras.
AWB (Auto White Balance) will look at any scene as it’s being shot and attempt to neutralize the color it sees from 3000-7000 K.
Daylight uses Canon’s default color temperature of 5200 K;
Shade works at 7000 K; Cloudy at 6000 K; Tungsten at 3200 K; White Fluorescent is set to 4000 K (there are huge color temperature variations in fluorescent lights); Flash at 6000 K; and Custom White Balance, which can neutralize light with a color temperature anywhere between 2000 and 10,000 K.
Image of M31 the Andromeda Galaxy, captured with Canon dSLR by our member Graham Caller.
Not too shabby methinks…
Here are Graham’s comments:
“One Andromeda shot processed finally.
Taken 1st Jan 2013. A combination of 40 x 60s lights at ISO 800. Stacked with 20 darks and 20 bias frames in Deep Sky Stacker.”
On POSTPONED TO Monday 18th March at 8pm, Dr Robert Smith of Sussex University is visiting to give us a lecture on the end of the world.
The lecture is titled “End in Fire: the ultimate fate of the Earth?“.
CADSAS members and under 16s – free. Others £2 on the door please.
“This talk is a popular account of a paper I wrote with a colleague in 2008. It follows the evolution of the Sun to the red giant stage and beyond and explains what will happen to the Earth as a result. It also looks at the more immediate future, asking whether we need to worry about what the Sun will do in the very distant future.”
In a recently rare clear night, Ivan Walton (CADSAS Astrophotography Director) captured this image of the constellation of Perseus, nearly overhead on the evening of 1st January 2013.
20 RAW frames, each of 10secs. were taken at 800ASA using a Nikon D40 dSLR with a fixed 50mm f1.8 lens.
The frames were then stacked in Deep Sky Stacker software & adjusted in Adobe Photoshop to produce this splendid view of one of the beautiful winter constellations.
Two objects have been identified.
- Algol (Beta Persei) is the best known eclipsing binary star, ranging from magnitude 2.12 to 3.40 over a period of 2.8673 days!
- M34 (NGC 1039) is a fine open cluster, which can just be glimpsed with the naked eye.