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It's been ages - well the best part of a year since I sold my trusty OSC self-guiding SBIG camera and replaced it with a Mono (via Ian King) due to my increasing light pollution... I've become a part time beta tester in the process for Canada based Apple Mac astro software developer - Microprojects, whilst trying to sort out the new STF8300M imaging camera and the 'dog' of an ST-i guide camera (it would be nice if SBIG pulled their finger out and sorted new drivers considering it's advertised as Mac compatible - so 'be warned' any Mac purchasers at the moment as the thing does not appear to like PHD either), but, we are nearly there (well I have an image at least - although I very nearly jacked the imaging game in to go back to visual), as I have spent ages 'garage' testing software whilst everyone else has been imaging and improving...... most depressing ;-( Still the odd issue with the STF locking whilst downloading an exposure and more annoyingly, on/off guiding due to 'corrupting' guide stars (ST-i) we think due to fluctuating noise levels playing havoc with the auto dark subtraction....or it could all be driver related(!), but an image at last to show you! Still a work in progress - need more exposures and some shorter ones for the core - plus brushing up my processing skill again! Not sure if I'll go for RGB colour or try a full narrowband image at some stage.... At the moment though I may just stick with Ha and try to build up a decent 'core' library to add to in the future - and resolve the last software issues.... Details: M42 Orion Nebula - Ha, 11th Nov 2012 WIP - still to get 'core' data. Only 15 x 600 sec exposures Takahashi FSQ106-ED + dedicated F/R @f/3.6 SBIG STF8300M + Baader 7nm Ha filter. Guided with SBIG ST-i via ST-80 via MicroProjects Equinox Image (beta test) 'Scopebuggied' Takahashi EM400 mount - controlled via MicroProjects Equinox Pro (all on a 17" MacBook Pro) Preprocessed (Darks and Flat frames), aligned and stacked in Nebulosity 3. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Would appear that I'm not the only one who has suffered camera, mount, computer issues.... stupid game this imaging! Thanks for looking....
The Heart Nebula - Ha, Oct/Nov 2012 WIP A mere 14x 600 sec exposures This was never intended to be a 'project' as such - I was using it to Beta test the cameras and software.... As I was using the Ha filter, I just happened upon this target as a rich source of Ha data. Taken on/off over three sessions it occurred to me later to try and process what I had - was pleasantly surprised at the results (despite stretching it to the limits!) Give it another 2-4 hours and it should be quite respectable.... pity that I did not take more care in the framing though over the sessions as I have had to crop the top and more noticeably the left edge, thereby loosing some of the subtle edge detail in the outer wall.... never mind though, two hours in, so might just as well add this to the library of ongoing projects! Takahashi FSQ106-ED + dedicated F/R @f/3.6 SBIG STF8300M + Baader 7nm Ha filter. Guided with SBIG ST-i via ST-80 via MicroProjects Equinox Image (beta test) 'Scopebuggied' Takahashi EM400 mount - controlled via MicroProjects Equinox Pro (all on a 17" MacBook Pro) Preprocessed (Darks and Flat frames), aligned and stacked in Nebulosity 3. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with 'Noel's Actions' The Heart Nebula, IC 1805, Sh2-190, lies some 7500 light years away from Earth and is located in the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. This is an emission nebula showing glowing gas and darker dust lanes. The nebula is formed by plasma of ionized hydrogen and free electrons. The very brightest part of this nebula (the knot at the right) is separately classified as NGC 896, because it was the first part of this nebula to be discovered. The nebula's intense red output and its configuration are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's center. This open cluster of stars known as Melotte 15 contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass. The cluster used to contain a microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago. (Wili) Full Res picture here: http://astrob.in/full/24911/ Thanks for looking as always... Clear skies, Damian