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Everything posted by ASIGN_Baz

  1. Getting the colours right for him is difficult. He uses photoshop to process. Auto colour just makes it worse it seems. How can I help my friend.? He has trouble seeing pinks and reds, yellow and green ,purple and blue. This is his just now. Should be magentas and pinks etc.
  2. Stacked and processed 12 x 15 minute exposures, (3 hours total exposure) flats and darks subtracted. I thought the single frame last night was nice, but perhaps a little over-saturated. Whilst I like the extra dramatic feel to it, this one is far more natural. Detail is better too. Pretty happy with this one. The Carina Nebula is a large, complex area of bright and dark nebulosity in the constellation Carina, and is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light-years from Earth and approximately 480 light years across. To put that in perspective, the sun is about 8 light minutes away from Earth and our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, (one of the pointer stars near the Southern Cross) is just under five light years from Earth. Or about 95,000 years in a rocket ship. Just before the big camera got going on the Carina Nebula through the telescope, I piggybacked my little DSLR on top of the scope and used a standard crappy 18-55 kit lens to try for a widefield of the region using the telescope to track it. Stacking 61 images of 3 minutes each, the resulting image shows a slice of our milky way not far above the Southern Cross. You can clearly see the Great Carina Nebula and some open clusters of stars. As you can see, the rest of the mist is made of stars, gas, dust and needs a good vacuum.
  3. Six hours exposure of M78 reflection nebula in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, about 1,600 light years from Canberra.
  4. Quick drive out of the city at midnight last week. Got the shot. Drove home again.
  5. A week away from it all. No electricity, no running water, dinner in the coals and a shovel and a bog-roll for conveniences. Here's what that felt like out there in the middle of nowhere.
  6. As with the Iron Man build, so many people contributed to the vision of ASIGN Observatory II. I have lost track of many of you, but you remain in my heart for all you did. Please rest assured that the mission still continues although a bit slow at the moment. I am confident these things move in seasons, with their ups and downs. I have already had groups of kids and their guardians in for sky tours and explanations of the telescope workings and the processes of astrophotography. I've had the Salvation Army kids, a group of primary school kids, some home-school families from rural areas, church and work friends, visits from prominent amateur astronomers and more. Once the telescope mount is de-bugged, the mission moves ahead! God bless ya's all! Baz. Here's a video for ya! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP20efIBRNM&feature=youtu.be
  7. Had a really, really REALLY bad night. Everything went wrong. Crystal clear night ALL night WASTED on glitches. PHD tracking program kept tracking west and losing the guide star, even though it was bright and sharp. Pointing accuracy of the mount was so bad I could not find a single target. Right ascension and declination keys on the hand controller are reversed with no obvious way to change them back, so up down is left right and vice-versa. Drift alignment was tedious to say the least as the adjustments on the mount are clunky and difficult. Very capable mount, but VERY poorly designed for alignment and solid lock once there. Up until just after 3am trying to fix it all. No joy. Still scratching my head and filled with a loathing for technology that works then all of a sudden stops for no apparent reason. Another one of those nights I'm fortunate there's no bulldozer sitting in the cul-de-sac with the keys in the ignition. As the telescope was misbehaving last night, I ended up processing images from the previous two nights. The Lagoon Hydrogen emission nebula is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye. The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light years from the Earth. and is 110 long by 50 light years wide. The Trifid Nebula is a hydrogen II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means 'divided into three lobes'. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' within the emission nebula that cause the trifurcated appearance. It is approximately 5000 light years away from Earth. The Sombrero Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 28 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy has a diameter of approximately 50,000 light-years, 30% the size of the Milky Way. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. I processed these all after 3am when I was very tired. It shows. They looked a lot brighter on the desktop PC than they do now on my laptop. Astrophotograhy is actually getting harder (more complicated) with time, not easier. I wonder why?
  8. From ASIGN Observatory II's big telescope last night, an image of 4 x 10 minute exposures totalling forty minutes of data with darks subtracted. The great Carina Nebula and surrounds is home to the massive and famous Eta Carinae star system. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm. The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. It is brighter and some four times larger than the famous Orion Nebula.
  9. I've been getting friends asking me to take photographs of stars they have bought for loved ones for birthdays and such. Today a friend asked me to photograph one she purchased from this mob. http://www.starregistry.com.au/ She said they wouldn't mind a photograph of it also. Let me start by saying...... WHAT THE? Is this even legal? How can you charge people $110 AUD for a thing that is not even yours!!?? How can you charge anything? Skool me please SGL. Baz.
  10. Processed last night's data on M78 in Orion. This was 12 x 10-minute exposures (total of 2 hours). I would have got more but I fell asleep and it was the telescope's alarm going off telling me that the desk had got in the way and the camera on the telescope was pressed up hard against it, ruining the alignment. Ah well, 12 exposures is enough this time.
  11. GSORC12. EQ8, Orion Starshoot, SBig ST-i
  12. TWO CLEAR NIGHTS WITH NO MOON IN A ROW!!! As tired as I am from last night and with a splitting headache from overexposure to the sun on an open tractor all day - I can't pass up the opportunity for such clear and dark skies. Currently shooting M78 in Orion, here's last nights image of the Horsehead nebula, (Barnard 33) in Orion. 20 x five-minute exposures combined for a total of one hour and 40 minutes exposure. At 1500 light years away, this dark nebula blocks out the light with it's concentration of thick, dusty stellar material. Below it, the blue reflection nebula NGC 2023 glows from it's burrowing inner star.
  13. Thanks everyone and a happy new year to you all! Jim, Canberra is one of the colder cities in Australia with winter snow and temps around zero to minus 7 C on average. It's all about what you get used to I guess. You guys probably have far colder to deal with. Our summers get a lot of high 30C and up to 45C so it's heat that is more of a problem in a steel dome. Lots of pedestal fans and open the dome right up early! It's been great sharing the build and receiving encouragement and advice from the astro-community world wide! God bless ya all and have a FANTASTIC 2015! Baz.
  14. I've been battling moon, clouds and software issues to get Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy. This is all I've got so far from the last couple of nights. My programs refuse to stack my 60 images, so here is a quick process on a single image of 100 seconds. I've been pretty brutal to stretch all the data out of it, so it's very grainy. Didn't help that there was a first-quarter moon up either. I am now researching other ways to solve my stacking problems.
  15. ASIGN II's big new telescope starting to prove itself. I still have a few tweaks to make and need to improve my processing, but it's getting really exciting now! Picture one is my first complete stack from the new telescope. This is one hour and twenty minutes of exposure on NGC253, Sculptor Galaxy. Distance - 11.4 million light years away. This second image is six and a half hours of exposure on NGC 2070 Tarantula Nebula. Distance - 159,800 light years away. Apparently if this bright nebula was as close to us as the Orion nebula, it would cast shadows.
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