Monthly Archives May 2013

Dance of the Planets

dance1

Subjects: Jupiter, Mercury, Venus
Technique: 1/6 seconds at 800 iso, f/5.6

During the next few days we have the chance to observed the “Dance of the Planets” in the early western sky. In this image, you can see three “stars”. The top left is Jupiter, the bottom is Venus, and the right is Mercury.

Tonight’s weather didn’t allow for any spectacular images, but I’m hoping that the next few nights may be clear. Tomorrow night, the planets may even be close enough to fit into the objective with my camera in prime focus with my telescope.

Read More

Moon

800iso

Subject: Moon - Waxing Crescent
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with HD Pro Wedge
Technique: 1/100 seconds at 800 iso in prime focus

Tonight was the first night without clouds since I got my new wedge. Unfortunately, the visibility was low, the humidity high, and the wind too strong to take any long exposures. I did finally take a shot of the moon though.

Read More

Moon Closeups

3200isobarlow

3200isobarlow2

Subject: Moon
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with HD Pro Wedge
Technique: 1/200 seconds at 3200 iso in prime focus with 2x barlow lens

Here are two shots I took with my barlow lens to get some extra magnification. The barlow doubles magnification at the cost of brightness, this is why I had to change the exposure and iso, resulting in a little more noise than usual.

Read More

New Wedge

telescope

I just installed my new wedge to my CPC 800 SCT. This converts my altazimuth mount to an equatorial mount, thus allowing me to take even longer exposures without star trailing.

Click the picture to enlarge it.

Read More

Equipment

Telescopes:

Camera:

Read More

M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy (attempt 2)

m51_pr

Subject: M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 28 lights (30 seconds at 1600 ISO), 20 darks, 20 flats, 50 biases.
Prime focus. Manually stacked and post-processed with Photoshop.

This attempt at M51 proved to be much better than my first. After reducing my ISO, increasing my exposure time (probably a bad idea), and increasing my frame count, I was able to capture much more light with much less noise. I’m glad I was able to keep much of the color this time.

DSS still did not want to stack my frames, again probably due to my mount so I had to manually stack them with Photoshop. I’m glad I was able to “save” these frames.

Read More

M5 – Another Attempt

m5

Subject: M5
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 30 seconds at 1600 ISO in Prime focus.

Before spending the evening on a second attempt at the Whirlpool Galaxy, I took this quick photo of M5.

Read More

Saturn

Saturn2_pr2

Subject: Saturn
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~1200 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

After hours of deep sky photography I decided to have a quick attempt at Saturn before going in for the night. I’m glad I did. At this point in the evening the corrector plate on my SCT had already begin to accumulate dew. That makes me wonder if I could have done even better than this.

Read More

M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy

M51  pr2

Subject: M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 3 lights (25 seconds at 6400 ISO), 10 darks, 15 flats, 50 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with DeepSkyStacker and post-processed with Photoshop.

Here is my first successful attempt at stacking. I took 10 exposures, but DSS was only able to stack 3 of them. I believe this is due to the amount of noise in the image and the fact that I’m using an altazimuth mount to track. I had to do a lot of post-processing to bring out the detail in the arms and get rid of the noise. Unfortunately, this cost me any color I had captured. Still, considering it is over 23 million light years away, I think this a great first attempt at my favorite galaxy!

Read More

M5 – Globular Cluster

M5 pr

Subject: M5
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 25 second exposure at 6400 ISO in prime focus.

After some failed attempts at M101 and M42, I was able to catch a glimpse of the globular cluster M5 in Serpens.

Read More