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  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 Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax ………………………. ( edit - star chart added ) The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) - Chart ( please click/tap on image see larger and sharper version ) A full size ( 6200 x 4407px ) image can be downloaded from here. ………………………. Details: 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 when he discovered 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 240 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. ................. 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 : 1375mm 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 ( 3, 7 & 8 Dec 2018 ) 7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at unity gain ( ISO 250). 140 x 240s + 10 each @ 4s to 120s total around 9.7 hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat , master dark Integration in 7 sets HDR combination Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday">www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday</a> Image Plate Solution =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... -0.003 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 37" x 38' 55" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 36 Dec: -36 08 27 ===================================
  3. 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
  4. The ABC in Australia has just published their 2018 "Sky Tour" presentation in support of their Stargazing Live event this week ( http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/stargazing-live/ ). The presentation was produced by Genelle Weule and can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-21/stargazing-live-tour-great-southern-sky/9775660. It includes a narrated presentation by Prof. Fred Watson and includes four of my photos
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Carina Nebula with the bright unstable star Eta Carinae in the centre of the image. edit ( 27 March ): Tweak to shadow levels to bring out more detail and also a slight reduction in the brightness of the highlights. A much larger version ( 4562 x 3072 6062 x 4082) is available on my Flickr page. previous version: Carinae Nebula ( NGC 3372 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) From Wikipedia ... "Eta Carinae is a highly luminous hypergiant star. Estimates of its mass range from 100 to 150 times the mass of the Sun, and its luminosity is about four million times that of the Sun." This HDR image is constructed from 12 sets of exposures ranging from 1/8 sec ( to capture the bright centre of Eta Carinae ) through to 240 seconds. Total exposure time around 13 hours 17-19 March 2018 Image details: Objects in image: Hypergiant, Eta Carinae ( HD 93308 ) in the centre of the Homunculus Nebula Carina Nebula ( NGC 3372 ) Keyhole Nebula Open Star Clusters: - Trumpler 14, 15, 16 - Collinder 232 Field of view ..... 59' 18.2" x 39' 56.0" Image centre ...... RA: 10 45 01.762 Dec: -59 40 52.87 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 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 17, 18 & 19 March 2018 ): 12 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8s to 240s ) all at ISO250. ( 181 x 240sec + 10 to 20 each for the other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 12 sets HDR combination Pixinsight March 2018
  8. Barred 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 30 million years ago. Details: Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo. Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount. Orion 80mm f5 guide scope and auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, no filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. ISO800, 14bit NEF, Long Exp. NR on. 44 x 120sec 4th Sept 2016 Processed in PixInsight and finished off in Photoshop. Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay
  9. The Silver Coin Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation - updated. 24th March 2017: New version that was reprocessed ( again ) to improve colour balance ... original version below ( colours are a little too yellow ) ( click on image to see full size ) The Silver Coin Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation ( aka the Silver Dollar or Sculptor Galaxy ). Caroline Herschel in 1783 was the first to recordthis bright ‘nebula’ in an area of the southern sky that Nicolas de Lacaille had called the “Apparatus Sculptoris” or “the sculptor’s studio”. 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. Details: NGC 253 - "Silver Coin" or "Sculptor" galaxy. RA 00 48 23, DEC -25 11 52. Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount. Orion Short Tube 80mm guide scope & auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector & no filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. 20 x 180 sec ISO 800, long exp noise reduction on. Pixinsight & Photoshop. 4th November 2016 updated version 17 March 2017
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. The Great Nebula in Orion ( Messier 42, NGC 1976 ) ( tap on image to see larger ) Scrapbook page ... Details: The Great Orion Nebula (Messier 42, Messier 43, NGC 1976 ) in the Orion Constellation RA 5 36 15, DEC -5 26 31 ( 2016.9 ) Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount Orion Short Tube 80mm guide scope & auto guider - PHD2 Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector & no filter Nikon D5300 (unmodified) Field of view (deg) < ~ 1.35 x 0.90 long exp noise reduction on 45 x 120 sec ISO 400, 15 x 60 sec ISO 100, +various short exposures 3 to 15 sec to extend dynamic range for bright stars Pixinsight & Photoshop 28th November 2016
  14. 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
  15. “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
  16. 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 ==================================
  17. 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
  18. The Southern Beehive Cluster ( NGC 2516 ) in the constellation Carina re-processed ( improved colour balance, more colour in the smaller stars and lower saturation overall ): previous version: ( click on image to see larger ) Because of its similarity M44, NGC 2516, which is only visible from lower latitudes, has become known as the Southern Beehive Cluster. At a distance of around 1300 light years, NGC 2516 is relatively close to us and resides in the same spiral arm of the Milkyway as we do. Containing around 100 stars, with a number of them in the magnitude 5 to 6 range, NGC 2516 has an apparent magnitude of 3.8 and is visible to the naked eye as a small bright hazy patch at the edge of the Milkyway. Details: RA 7h 58.4m, Dec -60 deg 41.9' Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount. Guiding: Orion Shortube 80 guidescope, Starshoot Autoguider, PHD2, guiding RA only Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector. Hutech IDAS D1 light pollution filter Nikon D5300 (unmodified) Long exposure noise reduction on Stack of 14 x 360sec images @ ISO400 Pixinsight
  19. ( 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Astrophotography Scrapbook Vol. 1 Cover Page Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius ( Messier 8, NGC 6523 ) The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) War and Peace in Scorpius ( NGC 6357 ) Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo Ptolemy's Cluster in Scorpius ( Messier 7, NGC 6475 ) A Million Stars in the Deep South ( NGC 104, 47 Tucanae ) A Wishing Well in Carina ( NGC 3532 ) A Beehive in the Southern Sky ( NGC 2516 ) The Sliver Coin in Sculptor ( NGC 253 ) The Great Nebula in Orion ( Messier 42, NGC 1976 ) A Cluster of Pearls in Centaurus ( NGC 3766 ) - new 5 Dec resources: Scrapbook Template ------------------------------------- When I show my astrophotography images to my friends and family they invariably want to know what they are looking at. This led me to wonder if there was a way I could display my images on a single page together with a few notes on the target object as well as few technical details of the capture for those who might be interested. What I came up with a "scrapbook" like page that combines all of these three elements in a single PDF sheet ( or jpeg image) that ultimately I might combine together to form a PDF book that I can share online or send to friends and family. In the meantime, I thought I might post in this thread each page of my work-in-progress towards volume 1 of my Astrophotography Scrapbook. Any and all comments, observations, suggestions and constructive criticisms will be warmly received. Cheers Mike ps. The pages have been sized to fit full screen on an IPAD
  23. Ptolemy's Cluster in the constellation Scorpius ( Messier 7, NGC 6475 ) Scrapbook page ...
  24. 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.
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