Sunday, April 17, 2016

More Moon!

I spent some time tweaking the collimation on my F/4 Mallincam Newt. Before collimation, I thought it gave some wonderfully sharp images. After collimation, they looked even better.

This image was taken with the newt and the DS 2.3+ imager, proving that together, they are a formidable combination!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Moon 4.13.16

Imaging DSOs becomes problematic when the moon approaches first quarter. I decided to take the time to fully collimate the VRC 6, which was a little out of alignment. I decided to test it on the moon. The image below was taken with the VRC 6, 0.5x focal reducer, and DS 2.3+. It is a stack of 250 frames from an avi, stacked in Registax with final processing (unsharp mask) in Photoshop. The collimation really sharpened up the image!

This image was taken with the same setup, but using a 2x barlow:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

M82--The Cigar Galaxy

Saturday evening (4/9) was as good a night for imaging as we've had here in a while, despite the cold (33 degrees F). With not even a slight breeze to disturb it, the ZEQ 25 tracked almost flawlessly. I took this image with the VRC-6 (plus .5x focal reducer and skyglow filter) scope and the DS 2.3+, which gives a very decent wide field view with an F/ratio of 4.5.

This full-frame image is a stack of 30 images, stacked and tweaked in Nebulosity, with final finishing in Photoshop. The focus was a little off on the scope, but the image is reasonably good--I need to buy a Bahtinov Mask for this scope (the mask I have for the 8 inch Newt is too big).

M82 is a bright, starburst galaxy, with the starburst being triggered by the nearby M81 (Bode's Galaxy). The core of M82 is around 100 times brighter than that of our own Milky Way and this image brings out striking color in the galaxy's core.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Sun on April 3, 2016

Last Sunday was a great day for solar observation! The sky was clear all day and the sun had a couple of large prominences on display.

The images posted here were taken with the PST-DS and the Mallincam DS 2.3+. The colors are as captured by the camera. Each image was captured as a 500 frame avi. The avi was loaded into Registax 6 for alignment and stacking. The best 200 frames from each avi were stacked and wavelet processing was also performed in Registax.  The result shows some nice detail on both prominences, including complex loops and other structures caused by the sun's magnetic field: