Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Images, Projects Done and to Do

Projects Done:

I completed the light shield extension for my AT65, but immediately changed over to imaging with my TV 102 so it's gotten no use.

The electroluminescent flat illuminator is also done, and if the results indicate anything it works great. Just rotate the telescope to looking at the zenith, place the device over the objective, turn off the mount and transfer the 12V power cord to the panel, and start shooting flats.

Images since last time? There's been a few, and you can find them in my gallery on Astrobin. I'll show two of them here in reduced size to save you a trip:

This is IC 348; I really wanted to do a good job with this because I think lately my image quality has suffered as I gather images for the AL Bright Nebula list.
IC 348 and friends
IC 348 is the cluster with nebulosity just below the bright star (Omicron Persei). Note that there are a couple of dark clouds present, one under 348 and the other at image right. 

The evening this was taken was a bit of a marathon, in that it started at dusk and extended until 5:30 A.M. when the Moon rose and I started getting sleep-deprivation punchy. The last image of the night was of the Moon:

I like this image because clouds caused the sunlit side of the Moon to look like it's in a glow... the effect in my mind is of the moon rising like a rocket (complete with exhaust plume) in the morning sky. Well, maybe you had to be there. Given that it's an LRGB image with only one frame per channel it came out well in a goofy sort of way.

Also imaged was M 78, which I think came out a little dark--I'll probably reprocess it.

Next up is fiddling with my DSLR lenses to see how they work with my ST-8300. That's in preparation for some of the big objects coming up: The Witch's Head, Barnard's Loop, Simeis 147, and others. I've got a couple of humble-quality Canon and Olympus lenses that should work (thanks to an adapter) with the Canon adapter sold by SBIG, and I want to see how much they'll need to be stopped down to make decent star shapes.

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