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hjw

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About hjw

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Photography - right now I am excited about AP
    Archery
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  1. The Helix Nebula (NGC7293) is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to our solar system - about 700 light years away. The nebula itself is the gas blown away from the central star when it neared its evolutionary cycle. The light from the remnant of the star causes the gas to fluoresce, hence the color. Equipment: Saxon 200DS on a SW HEQ5 mount, guided with a SW 80ST scope and a ZWO ASI120MC camera. Imaged with a Pentax K-30 equipped with a GSO coma corrector and a Baader UHC-S filter. 40 images 300sec each ISO 1600, 20 flats and 150 bias frames taken over two nights. Stacked with DSS and processed with photoshop (contrast, vibrancy, color balance and levels) Clear skies! HJ
  2. Thanks! I was hoping I missed something and hope dies last... Well, there is always next year.
  3. Hi, I've been imaging a galaxy (NGC6744) in the constellation of Pavo over the last few nights. The object is rather big (20'x13') but faint (surface brightness 14.79). I started too late on it because I can only get about 1 hour shortly after sunset. So far I've got 2.5 hours of exposure time with 2-4 min at ISO 800 or 1600. The image is still extremely noisy and I can only just make out the outer spiral arms. My question is, how do you improve imaging on very faint targets. Obviously, more exposure time - but seeing the improvements from one night to four, I am not sure it will get me where I want to be. Darker skies later at night would also help but that is not an option until next year. I am just wondering whether there is anything I am missing. Equipment: Saxon 200DS on a HEQ5, SW ST80 with ASI120MC for guiding, Pentax K30 with GSO coma corrector, 120-240sec exposures ISO 800 or 1600, 20 flats and 150 bias frames for each ISO. Thanks! HJ
  4. I started with the ED80 on a HEQ5 mount and yes, it is a very nice setup. About a year ago I bought a Saxon 200DS (rebranded SW 200PDS) and must say I love it. f/5 compared to f/7.5 makes a huge difference. I have a smaller FOV (objects appear larger) and require half the exposure time. With a DSLR noise increases significantly after 180sec exposures dur to the sensor heating up. Collimation isn't all that hard. I use a home-made collimation cap and can do it in a couple of minutes. The draw back is that with the guide scope (SW ST80) attached the mount has reached its limit. Wind does become a problem and a larger mount would be recommended. The ED80 gives a very crisp image but on fainter objects I was always battling noise from the sensor. One day I will get a cooled camera - maybe...
  5. If you are interested solely in observation, I would go for a dobsonian. I found that Astro Anarchy (http://www.astroanarchy.com.au/telescopes.html) probably has the best prices in Australia. Within you price range you can look at the 6" or 8" Skywatcher Dob.
  6. No, not really. Narrowband photography will help a lot, but you will get false color images. Does a good camera improve imaging in a light polluted area - not really. Only filters will. Does a good (cooled) camera improve imaging at a dark side? Yes, because you can get longer exposure times without heating the sensor and causing artifacts.
  7. I would never have thought that the day would come where I say: "The clouds in an astro image look good." It's just not meant to be like this. And yet, this was the only image of the night with clouds and it was my favorite.
  8. Can't always win. The US had the solar eclipse last year - gosh I was jealous!
  9. Thanks! I agree, I have a few images without clouds and decided to post this one.
  10. Like half the world we were treated to a lunar eclipse and a Mars opposition this morning. It was spectacular! I was hoping to get the actual moon set as a blood moon but the light pollution of a 3.5 million city and a sunrise did its best to ruin this idea. Shortly after this shot the moon became invisible. Still, having the eclipse over the city lights made getting up early on a weekend worthwhile! Pentax K-30, 70-300mm lens @70mm, 3second exposure ISO800. Clear skies! HJ
  11. It is the time of the year, where we have a plethora of objects high in the sky but the weather is such, that last night was the first night in almost two month where I could go for a DSO. I decided, from all possibilities to go for M20 because I really like the diversity of colors in this nebula. The Trifid nebula is located in the Sagittarius constellation and is about 5200 ly away. It has a rare combination of an open cluster, an emission nebula (red), a reflection nebula (blue) and dark dust bands. Equipment: Saxon 200DS (8", f/5) scope on a HEQ5 mount, SW ST80 guide scope with a ZWO ASI123MC guide camera, GSO coma corrector, Pentax K-30 camera. 54 x 120sec light frames ISO1600 (I went for shorter exposures because the wind pushed this setup right to its limit), 20 flat frames and 150 bias frames. For the rest of the week, it will be cloudy with rain and then the moon will be in the way should it clear up. All those missed opportunities. Alas, you can't have everything Clear skies! HJ
  12. There is a picture on the APOD website: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180325.html . It's raining here right now, so no chance to have a go at it Well it might last another few days. Clear skies HJ
  13. I thought I try my luck again. Centaurus A is a strange galaxy and is part of the M83/Centaurus A cluster and therefore is at the right time to be imaged too. The galaxy is between 10 and 15 Mly away and is characterized by the unusual s-shape dust band. In its center is a super-massive black hole emitting relativistic jet streams (unfortunately my Pentax does not pick up X-rays that would be spectacular...) Saxon DS200 f/5 on SW HEQ5, Pentax K-30 unmodified, SW ST80 and ZWO ASI120MC for guiding. 50 light frames 180sec at ISO 1600, 150 bias frames and 20 flat frames (I am new to the reflector and the vignetting drove me nuts so I finally started using calibration frames) The other galaxy in this group is NGC4945 and it is rather boring, so I will skip this one... Clear skies! HJ
  14. Congratulations on the birth of your son!
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