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Found 24 results

  1. Update: 3rd June Re-processed to remove slight magenta tint caused by the non-uniform removal of light pollution by the DBE process ( it was being fooled by the very bright image centre ). The globular star cluster Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) A full size image can be found here. original below ..... A newly captured ( May 2018 ) image of the great southern globular star cluster, Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus - ( please click / tap image to see larger and sharper ) A full size ( ~ 6000 x 4000 ) image can be found here ....... This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the colours of the stars, including in the core. Image details: Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( up is North ) Focal ............. 1375.99 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 20.9" x 38' 55.1" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 45.065 Dec: -47 28 27.26 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher Eq8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)\ Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2018 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  2. The Cat's Paw Nebula ( NGC 6334 ) in Scorpius updated ( slight tweak to colour balance, a little brighter and tad more contrast ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here ) ...... original: ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here ) ……………………... Also known as the Bear Claw Nebula, NGC 6334 is an emission nebula near the scorpion's tail in the Scorpius constellation. Image details: Image centre ...... RA: 17 20 08.185 Dec: -35 52 30.91 Field of view ..... 57' 37.8" x 38' 51.8" Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( North is up ) Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( July 2018 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. 168 x 4 min frames plus ~10 frames each for the shorter exposures Processing: Calibration: bias, dark and flat Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight July 2018
  3. Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus Details: Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus 19 May 2018 Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7\ Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... North is up Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 43' 27.2" x 28' 54.2" Image center ...... RA: 13 04 51.790 Dec: -49 30 37.17 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 19 May 2018 ): 10 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/2th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 41 x 240sec + ~8 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 10 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  4. Update 16th June: I could not wait to tell people that I was just notified that my image of Omega Centauri will be published as a future NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day ( APOD ) - my first ever I will update the thread when they publish. ................................. A deep look at Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) This image is an attempt to look deeply into the the Omega Centauri globular cluster by using HDR techniques to record as many faint stars as I can whilst retaining colour and detail in the bright stars, including at the core ... ............. Reprocessed to bring out more faint stars and to produce a smother transition between brightness levels. New version ( 12 June 2017 ): Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see lager and sharper ) .......... Old version: Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see full size and sharper ) Image details: from www.nova.astrometry.net: Size: 58.6 x 39 arcmins, Centre: 13h 26 min 50.4 sec, -47deg 28' 39.1''. Orientation: up is -89.9 East of North ( ie. E^ N> ). Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). No filter Long Exposure noise reduction off Location:. Blue Mountains, Australia. Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture: 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing:. Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination. Pixinsight May 2017
  5. A deep look at Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) edit: re-processed from the original exposures - April 2018 ........ previous version: Omega Centauri ( please click / tap on image to see larger and much sharper ) This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the subtle colours of the stars, including in the core. ( re-processed from May 2017 subs - master dark added to workflow, new HDR / colour process workflow and stretched using ArcSinh ) Image details: Field of view ..... 58' 32.3" x 38' 55.6" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 50.290 Dec: -47 28 39.80 Orientation: East is up, North is to the right Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2017 ): 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 9 sets HDR combination ArcSinh stretch Pixinsight March 2018 Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday
  6. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box Open Cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in the Crux constellation. ( please click / tap to see larger and sharper ) ........... Image details: Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 0.000 deg Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 49.3" x 39' 17.8" Image center ...... RA: 12 53 40.040 Dec: -60 21 02.81 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 5 May 2018 ): 11 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8th sec to 120 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 10 x 120sec + at least 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 11sets HDR combination
  7. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box open star cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in Curx ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Please see here for image details.
  8. Also known as the Theta Carinae Cluster, The Southen Pleiades is a very bright open cluster in the Carina constellation. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1752. Containing around 60 stars, IC 2602 shines with an overall magnitude of 1.9 and its brightest member is Theta Carinae with a visual magnitude of 2.7. This cluster of young blue stars is relatively close to us at "only" 479 light years. 5 May 2018 The Southern Pleiades ( IC 2602 ) in Carina ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) ......... Image details: Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 5 May 2018 ): 14 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/30th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 22 x 240sec + at least 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 14 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  9. The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) Bright Nebula NGC 6188 and open cluster NGC 6193 are embedded 4,300 light years away in the Sagittarius arm of our Milky Way galaxy and can be seen with the naked eye south of Scorpius in the constellation of Ara. With powerful stellar winds and energetic ultra-violet radiation, massive stars sculpt the interstellar gas and dust of the nebula into wonderful shapes and cause the interstellar gas to brightly fluoresce. Closer to the hot young stars of the cluster, bright blue “sunlight” reflects off the clouds of gas and dust to produce the blue reflection nebulae seenin the image. Magnitude +5.19, RA 16h 41m 42s, Dec -48deg 48' 46". Approx. 3800 light years away. Image details: This is an HDR image constructed from exposures ranging from 2 seconds to 240 seconds in length. The aim was to capture the faint stars and details in the nebula whilst at the same time maintaining colour in the bright stars without clipping the highlights. Plate Solution: Resolution ........ 1.336 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 90.002 deg ( North is to the right ) Focal ............. 1475.57 mm Pixel size ........ 9.56 um Field of view ..... 58' 28.5" x 39' 0.8" Image center ...... RA: 16 40 09.903 Dec: -48 41 27.00 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture ( 24 June 2017 ). 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 34 x 240s + 10 each @ 2s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 19 Aug 2017, 13 Jan 2018 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 8 sets. HDR combination. ......... This is a reprocessed version using the data I captured earlier in the year...
  10. “The Blue Bunny Nebula” .......... Edit: 27 Jan 2018 - updated again to try to draw more faint nebulosity out of the background; ( NGC 2359 - Thor’s Helmet ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and without compression artefacts ( and double click on that image if you what to see it as I posted it ! ) ) ......... Edit: 24 Jan 2018 - stars a little brighter and tighter with no change to the rest of the image ( NGC 2359 - Thor’s Helmet ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and without compression artefacts ( and double click on that image if you what to see it as I posted it ! ) ) ................. original: Thor's Helmet ( NGC 2359 ) in the constellation Canis Major Thor’s Helmet ( Duck Nebula, NGC 2359 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) This HDR image shows the bright nebula Thor’s Helmet in a sea of colourful stars against a background of red from dust and HA emissions. The stars in this image range from the brightest ( bottom right, HD 56501 ) at magnitude +7.7 to around +20 or more. HDR capture and processing allows all of the stars to be portrayed in colour without any burnt-out highlights. The colours of the stars and nebula are as close as I can get them to their "true colours" by using a "daylight colour balance" and allowing for the extinction of blue-green due to atmospheric absorption/scattering ( mean altitude during capture ~ 60deg ). The blue star in the centre of the bubble of expanding stellar material is HD 56925 ( WR7 ) - a massive, unstable and short-lived Wolf-Rayet star that one day will detonate in a supernova. Image details: NGC 2359 Thor’s Helmet / Duck Nebula: Magnitude +11.5, RA (2000.0) 7h 15m 37s, Dec -13deg 12' 8", approx. 1800 light years away HD 56925 / Wolf-Rayet 7 ( WR7 ) ( blue 11.5 mag star at centre of “bubble” ) Haffner 6 ( open ster cluster centre left of image ) Plate Solution: Resolution ........ 1.318 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( North is up ) Focal ............. 1398.41 mm Field of view ..... 57' 40.8" x 38' 29.0" Image center ...... RA: 07 18 36.509 Dec: -13 11 53.38 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 18 & 19 Jan 2018 ) 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. 116 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s Processing ( Pixinsight - 20 Jan 18 ) Calibration: master bias, master dark and master flat Integration in 9 sets HDR combination arcSinH stretch
  11. Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo NGC 6744 is a Milky Way like barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Pavo. Visible only from lower latitudes, the light we see now left this galaxy around 25 million years ago. NGC 6744 in Pavo ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Capture Details: North is up. Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher EQ8. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture ( 16, 17, 19 Sept. 2017 ). 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 85 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 5-17 Nov 2017 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Arcsinh stretch ( function written by Mark Shelley ) Image Plate Solver - NGC 6744 - Sept 17, 2017 =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation ............ 0.001 deg. Focal ................. 1372.24 mm. Pixel size ........ ..3.90 um. Field of view ..... 58' 30.3" x 38' 59.0". Image center ...... RA: 19 09 46.591 Dec: -63 51 13.44 ==================================
  12. Galaxy 2MASX J05314916-6721339 in Dorado in the region of the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) and not far ( in angular terms ) from NGC 2004 and NGC 2011. From Simbad: 2MASX J05314916-6721339 "Galaxy in a group of galaxies" - Type: Sa D ( Spiral ) ( J2000: 5h 31m 49.16s -67d 21' 33.92" ) ( http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=%403123415&Name=2MASX J05314916-6721339&submit=submit ) ( other id: IRAS Faint Source Catalog - IRAS F05319-6723 ) It can be found in the vicinity of NGC 2004 and NGC 2011 -------------- Crops taken from full frame image: Dragons Head Nebula and NGC 2014 in the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) ( not far from the Tarantula Nebula - NGC 2070 ) - NGC 2004 - NGC 2011 - NGC 2014 - NGC 2020 - NGC 2021 - NGC 2030 - NGC 2032 - NGC 2035 - NGC 2040
  13. Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) Re-processed to tweak colour balance and bring out a little more faint detail: New version: Original: ( click/tap on image to see full size - the above compressed version looks a little soft; the full size version is sharper ) The Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) is the largest and brightest emission nebula in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). At a distance of 160,000 light years away from us, the Tarantula Nebula is so bright that it would cast shadows on the Earth if were as close to us as the Orion Nebula in our galaxy. First image with new telescope and autoguider/setup. Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay Details: Nebulae: NGC 2070 Tarantula Nebula NGC 2048 NGC 2060 NGC 2077. Open clusters: NGC 2042 NGC 2044 NGC 2050 NGC 2055 NGC 2091 NGC 2093 NGC 2100 Image centre RA 5h 38m 57.3s, Dec -69deg 20' 36.6" (nova.astrometry.net) Field of view (arcmin): 58.7 x 39.2 Scale (full size image) 0.585 arcsec/pixel. Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, FL1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture ): 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Filter: none Exposures: 14 x 240 sec ISO400 12 x 120 sec ISO400 10 x 60 sec ISO400 11 x 60 sec ISO200 10 x 60 sec ISO100 10 x 30 sec ISO100 Pixinsight & Photoshop 20 December 2016
  14. ( Edit 20 Aug: adjusted to increase brightness ) ... The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click/tap on image to see larger and sharper ) ...................... Original: The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click/tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Bright Nebula NGC 6188 and open cluster NGC 6193 are embedded 4,300 light years away in the Sagittarius arm of our Milky Way galaxy and can be seen with the naked eye south of Scorpius in the constellation of Ara. With powerful stellar winds and energetic ultra-violet radiation, massive stars sculpt the interstellar gas and dust of the nebula into wonderful shapes and cause the interstellar gas to brightly fluoresce. Closer to the hot young stars of the cluster, bright blue “sunlight” reflects off the clouds of gas and dust to produce the blue reflection nebulae seenin the image. Magnitude +5.19, RA 16h 41m 42s, Dec -48deg 48' 46". Approx. 3800 light years away. Image details: Plate Solution: Resolution .......0.586 arcsec/px ( original full size image ). Rotation .......... 89.764 deg. Pixel size ........ 3.90 um. Field of view ..... 58' 41.6" x 39' 9.5". Image center ...... RA: 16 40 09.856 Dec: -48 41 22.50. Image bounds:. top-left ....... RA: 16 42 10.059 Dec: -49 10 30.54. top-right ...... RA: 16 42 06.489 Dec: -48 11 57.14. bottom-left .... RA: 16 38 11.010 Dec: -49 10 39.74. bottom-right ... RA: 16 38 11.897 Dec: -48 12 05.58. Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture ( 24 June 2017 ). 12 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 34 x 240s + 10 each @ 1/8s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 19 Aug 2017 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 12 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration.
  15. My image of Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) has been published as the NASA APOD for the 11th of July 2017 https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170711.html Link to full size image on NASA site ( warning quite large - 4620 x 3720 ) Link to discussion of image on asterisk.apod.com ( credit apod.nasa.gov ) ( full size image - 4620 x 3720 ) Link to original post for this image back on the 10th of June
  16. 21st April: Re-processed to better show the colour of the fainter stars ... ....... Shimmering like a pearl to the naked eye, this open cluster of mostly young blue stars ( known as the "Pearl Cluster" ) is approximately 5500 light years from Earth and was discovered by Abbe Lacaille in 1752 from South Africa. This HDR image is constructed from 11 sets of exposures ranging from 1/4 sec ( to capture the centre of the brighter stars ) through to 240 seconds ( for the fainter stars of the Milky Way ). Total exposure time was around 5 hours. A Cluster of Pearls in the Southern Skies ( NGC 3766 " The Pearl Cluster" ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be found here ) 12 April 2018 ..... Image details: Field of view ..... 58' 49.8" x 39' 36.4" Image center ...... RA: 11 36 03.890 Dec: -61 35 30.17 Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 12 April 2018 ): 11 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/4s to 240s ) all at ISO250. ( 70 x 240sec + 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 11 sets HDR combination Pixinsight April 2018
  17. Re-processed 12th August 2017 using the new PhotometricColorCalibration tool from Pixinsight. This function seeks to adjust the colour balance of the image by plate solving the image and comparing the colour of the stars in the image with the colour values for these stars as stored in various databases. ( please click / tap on image to see larger / sharper ) ................. Trifid Nebula ( M20, NGC 6514 ) I manged to capture another 60 odd 240sec images in late July to add to the data I captured at the end of June ( Trifid Nebula WIP ) Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius ( Messier 20, NGC 6514 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper )' and a crop of the main part of the nebula ... I am quite pleased with how the colour balance turned out - especially the colours of the stars ( my goal has been to get the colours of the stars as close as I can to how they would look with "daylight" whitebalance and no light pollution / sky glow). ----------- "High Dynamic Range" ( HDR ) image of the Trifid Nebula - built from exposures ranging from 1/8 to 240 seconds in duration. Image details: from nova.astrometry.net: Size: 52.2 x 35.5 arcmins. Centre: 18h 2 min 30.8 sec, -22deg 57' 37.7''. Orientation: up is -88.2 East of North ( ie. E^ N> ). Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture: 12 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 12 sets. 105 x 240sec main image. 5 each for exposures 1/8 to 120sec - to caputure highlights. HDR combination using Pixinsight's PixelMath function.
  18. Also known as the Theta Carinae Cluster, The Southen Pleiades is a very bright open cluster in the Carina constellation. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1752. Containing around 60 stars, IC 2602 shines with an overall magnitude of 1.9 and its brightest member is Theta Carinae with a visual magnitude of 2.7. This cluster of young blue stars is relatively close to us at "only" 479 light years. 5 May 2018 The Southern Pleiades open star cluster ( IC 2602 ) in Carina ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Image details can be found here.
  19. Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) by Mike O'Day. The Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) is the largest and brightest emission nebula in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). At a distance of 160,000 light years away from us, the Tarantula Nebula is so bright that it would cast shadows on the Earth if were as close to us as the Orion Nebula in our galaxy. New version ( April 9 ): ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper image ) ............ Older versions: And here it is re-processed to try to reduce the red background ( due to light pollution I think ) without impacting the colour of the stars too much ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Details: Nebulae: NGC 2070 Tarantula Nebula NGC 2048 NGC 2060 NGC 2077 Open clusters: NGC 2042 NGC 2044 NGC 2050 NGC 2055 NGC 2091 NGC 2093 NGC 2100 Image centre ... (nova.astrometry.net) Field of view (arcmin): ... Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture ): 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Filter: none. Exposures: 100 sub exposures ranging from 1s 100ISO to 240Sec 400ISO HDR processing of 5 sets of images Pixinsight & Photoshop 20 December 2016 / April 2017
  20. NGC 2014 and Dragon's Head nebula in the Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) not far from the Tarantula Nebula by Mike O'Day ( 500px.com/MikeODay ). This image shows multiple bright nebula and star clusters in an area adjacent to the The Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). The largest of these are the bright pink nebula in the mid-right part of the image ( NGC 2014 ) and the blue nebula in the lower middle ( NGC 2030 ). ..... Updated image - reprocessed to impove colour balance ( April 15th ) ( please click / tap on image to see it larger and sharper ) .... Original: ( click on image to see larger and clearer ( grrr... image compression in version above )) ---------- This is the first image captured as part of a new image capture and processing workflow I am trying out... Roger Clark ( http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/index.html ) has a number of articles addressing colour processing and the performance of modern DSLR sensors. The "take homes" for me have been: 1. With a modern sensor ( one with on-sensor dark current suppression technology ) one may not need to capture dark frames ( in order to remove the now non-significant pattern noise ). 2. "Correct" white balance processing should start by using "daylight" RBG channel multipliers ( to get the star colour 'right') and any histogram adjustment to improve white balance of darker parts of the image should involve aligning the left side of histogram curves ( ie. not the peaks ) So, the workflow to produce the image above involves calibraiton with Superbias & Master Flat but no dark frame subtraction (neither post nor in-camera). Roger Clark speaks of using a "bad pixel map" as the basis of reducing hot pixels. I have not figured out how to produce one yet. However, with a little bit of dithering during guiding ( and the very busy image ) the hot pixels that are in the image below are not too overwhelming. With regard to colour balance; I tried using the "daylight" factors reported by the camera but these resulted in an image and stars that were quite blue. This image was based on the factors reported by DXOMark for the Nikon D5300 ( R x 2.12, G x 1, B x 1.49 ( D50 standard )). This was better but I still felt the need for a final tweak in Photoshop ( colourBalance Highlights +15 Cyan/Red, -5 Magenta/Green ) to improve the colour in the stars and mid-tones. { DXOMark "white balance scales" for D5300 found at: https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon/D5300---Measurements on the "color response" tab } --------- Details: Bright Nebulae: NGC 2014 ( upper right, pink) size 30 x 20 arcmin Mag +8 NGC 2020 size 2.0 arcmin ( small blue-green oval nebula ) NGC 2030 NGC 2032 ( Dragon's Head nebula - blue, central bottom of image ) NGC 2035 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin NGC 2040 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin Open clusters: NGC 2004 size 2.7 arcmin Mag +9.6 NGC 2011 size 1 arcmin Mag +10.6 NGC 2021 size 0.9 arcmin Mag +12.1 Annotated : Image centre RA 05h 33m 32.362s, Dec -67° 32' 18.145" (nova.astrometry.net) Orientation: up is west, right is South Field of view (arcmin): 58.8 x 39.2 Scale (full size image) 0.585 arcsec/pixel Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 120mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Format: 14bit NEF Noise reduction: off Filter: none HDR combination of seven sets of exposures (20 & 22 Feb 2017): 58 x 240 sec ISO 800 8 x 120 sec ISO 800 8 x 60 sec ISO 800 8 x 30 sec ISO 800 8 x 14 sec ISO 800 8 x 7 sec ISO 800 8 x 3 sec ISO 800 Pixinsight: 26 Feb 2017 Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay
  21. A new High Dynamic Range image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) captured over a number of nights in mid-September 2017 and processed with PixInsight using the DrizzleIntegration and PhotometricColorCalibration tools. The Silver Coin or Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) On the 23rd of September 1783, sitting before her telescope in the field behind the house she shared with her brother William at Datchet, near Slough in the south of England, Miss Caroline Herschel "swept" the sky searching for new comets and never before seen star clusters and nebulae. On this occasion, way down in the sky, not far above the Southern horizon, in an area of the southern sky that Nicolas de Lacaille had called the “Apparatus Sculptoris” or “the sculptor’s studio", Miss Herschel saw and noted down a very bright and large nebula where one had never before been recorded. This event was later recognised by her brother, Sir William Herschel, as the discovery, by Caroline Herschel, of the nebula he listed in his catalogue as H V.1. In later years, her 'beloved nephew', Sir John Herschel, William's son, would record this 'nebula' as entry # 138 in his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ( eventually becoming the 253th entry in the New General Catalogue, NGC 253 ). Whilst relatively close to us compared to the billions of far more distant galaxies in the Universe, the great size of the “Sculptor Galaxy” and the huge distances involved are still hard to comprehend. To put this into some perspective, the light that is just now reaching one edge of the great disc left the opposite edge when the Earth was in the grip of last great Ice Age 70,000 years ago and the light we now see has been travelling towards us for over 11 million years. ........ More information on the discovery of the Sculptor Galaxy by Miss Caroline Herschel, as well as the later observations by both Sir William and Sir John Herschel, can be found in my Stargazerslounge blog, “The Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 )” ......... This image was captured over a number of nights in the middle of September 2017 and processed on the 23rd; exactly 234 years from the day of its discovery by Caroline Herschel. With over 18 hours of total exposure, this HDR image attempts to capture the huge range of brightness levels; from the brightest stars and the core of the galaxy through to the numerous 'tiny' galaxies scattered throughout the image ( the total magnitude range is from around mag 8.8, for the brightest star, to 22+ for the faintest stars and galaxies visible in the image). Mike O'Day ...................... Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera:Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ).. Capture ( 16, 17, 19,20,22 Sept. 2017 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO800 273 x 240s + 10 each @ 2s to 120s total around 18hrs Processing Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Drizzle Integration in 8 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Pixinsight & Photoshop 23 Sept. & 8 Oct 2017 Image Plate Solution ( this cropped image ) =============================================== Resolution ........ 1.324 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -180.00 deg ( South ^, East > ) Field of view ..... 57' 57.5" x 38' 40.1" Image center ...... RA: 00 47 32.809 Dec: -25 17 04.48 =============================================== .................... Designations and alternative names for the Sculptor Galaxy: CH10 ( Caroline Herschel # 10 ) H V.1 ( William Herschel, Class V ( very large Nebulae ) # 1 ) H 61, H 2345 ( John Herschel observations identifiers ) GC 138. ( John Herschel’s - A General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 138 ) NGC 253 ( John Herschel’s catalogue updated by Dreyer - The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 253 ) Caldwell 65 Leda 2789 ESO 479-29 Sculptor GalaxySilver Coin GalaxySilver Dollar Galaxy .................. Annotated image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) - showing the brighter stars ( from the Tycho-2 catalogue ) as well the galaxies recorded in the Principal Galaxies Catalogue ( PGC ). I have yet to complete identifying and annotating the very large number of ‘tiny’ galaxies in the image. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) .........
  22. ( click tap on image to see larger and sharper ) This image shows multiple bright nebula and star clusters in an area adjacent to the the Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). The largest of these are the bright pink nebula in the upper right part of the image ( NGC 2014 ) and the blue nebula in the lower right ( NGC 2030 ). Details: Bright Nebulae: NGC 2014 ( upper right, pink) size 30 x 20 arcmin Mag +8. NGC 2020 size 2.0 arcmin NGC 2030 ( lower right, blue ). NGC 2032 . NGC 2035 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin NGC 2040 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin Open clusters: NGC 2002 size 2 arcmin Mag +10.1 NGC 2004 size 2.7 arcmin Mag +9.6 NGC 2006 size 1 arcmin Mag +11.5 NGC 2011 size 1 arcmin Mag +10.6 NGC 2021 size 0.9 arcmin Mag +12.1 NGC 2027 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +11.9 NGC 2034 NGC 2041 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +10.4 Image centre RA 05h 33m 25.583s, Dec -67° 18' 02.586" (nova.astrometry.net) Field of view (arcmin): 58.8 x 39.2 Scale (full size image) 0.585 arcsec/pixel Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410 mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Filter: none HDR combination of four sets of exposures: 9 x 300 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 100 4 x 60 sec ISO 100 Pixinsight & Photoshop 29 January 2017 link: 500px.com/MikeODay
  23. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the constellation Fornax edit: new version with new long exposure data ( 52 x 240sec ) and better dark subtraction / dithering to remove streaks in the noise and amp glow. This also allowed for a greater stretch revealing more faint data in the galaxy and small faint fuzzies in the image .. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in Fornax ( please click / tap to see larger ) and below I have added a 100% crop of new version: ........ original image: NGC 1365 ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) ............... The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837, or near Sydney, as I was, almost exactly 180 years later, when I photographed this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 120 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies with apparent magnitudes of 16 to 18 or greater. Mike O'Day ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 22 Nov 2017 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 120s ) all at ISO400. 70 x 120s + 5 each @ 4s to 60s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 6 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  24. The Rosette Nebula and Cluster ( NGC 2237 and 2244 ) in the constellation Monoceros edit: updated 30th Dec with improved colour balance and slightly increased brightness ... ...... original: ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Still a work-in-progress really... with only 10 x 4min exposures for the main 'lights' before the clouds came over. I will try to add some more data when the moon has gone I am still experimenting with how to get the best out of the D7500. With the very warm nights ( low to mid 20s all night ) the 'warm pixels' are very noticeable so I reverted to my old practice of in-camera dark subtraction. This worked quite well and produced a nice smooth noise floor in the integrated images - albeit at the expense of more exposures. ................. Identification: The Rosette Nebula ( NGC 2237 ) is a large, circular emission nebula in the constellation Monoceros. It surrounds a cluster of hot, young stars known as the Rosette Cluster ( NGC 2244 ). ( SkySafari ) NGC 2237, 2244 Caldwell 49, 50 North is up. .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 23 Dec 2017 ) 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO400. 10 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s imaged ~ +/- 1.5hrs either side of meridian maximum altitude ~ 51.3 deg above north horizon Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and in-camera dark subtraction Integration in 9 sets HDR combination Image Plate Solution =================================== Resolution ........ 0.633 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... 0.181 deg Focal ............. 1367.90 mm Pixel size ........ 4.20 um Field of view ..... 58' 59.4" x 39' 15.0" Image center ...... RA: 06 31 55.638 Dec: +04 56 30.84 ===================================
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