MadMan's Astronomy and Astrophotography Pages - Photos of the Week
21 months and counting
since I bought my first
telescope and took my
Images from August:   This was not a great month for imaging in Georgia - so I decided to break my back and take a golf travel bag stuffed with my AstroTrac portable
pier and hardware to Maine.  That plus my camera bag made for a very heavy load.  The all-in weight of the checked golf bag with cables and hardware was 95 lbs!  Delta did
not charge me believe it or not.

I had set the trip up for an anniversary so I could not help that it coincided with a FULL MOON.  And by full, I mean like one I had never seen before.  You could literally
read by it at night.  Regardless, the house I have stayed in a couple of years in a row cannot be beat for dark locations as it is right at the entrance to one portion of Acadia
National Park.  Even with the Moon, I was able to get some decent data.  It was, however, a real labor of love as each object had to be manually framed and it took hours off of
my time.  I reduced the effort by using a dual imaging setup that, while heavy, worked reasonably well when the polar alignments were near perfect.  On the 3rd night, I figured
out how to make my life much easier by crossing the lasers from my AT system with a GoTo system I had in my camera bag (Orion TeleTrack).  I put a laser on it and had it
go to the object I was interested in and then manually slewed the AT to cross with the Orion laser.  Using the live view in my Lodestar with PHD running, I was able to knock
lots of time off.

Note the Ha exposures were 10 minutes long.  Despite being very sensitive to a good polar alignment, that is impressive for a portable mount.

Below are pics from the setup and the first in a series of results from my data capture session.  They were done with the following configurations:

- Canon 60Da and EF 70-200 f/4L USM Zoom - all imaging done at f4 and 200mm FL.
- H694 CCD with Gerd Neuman CTU and Baader Ha, Oiii and Sii filters through the Canon EOS 24-105mm IS lens - all imaging done at f4 and 105mm FL.
Photos of The Week - August, 2012
Dark Sky (full moon) Trip 8/21-9/1 - Acadia National Park - Southwest Harbor, Maine
Dual simultaneous. guided imaging with the AstroTrac portable system, Canon 60Da, M25C, H694 camera and
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L and EOS 24-105mm IS lenses.  Guided with Lodestar,

Imaging and Processing:  Michael DeMita
From left to right (in the order imaged every night):  

NGC 7000 and Pelican Wide-Field (1.5 hours elapsed)
Sadr and Crescent Wide-Field (4 hours elapsed)
M31 - only 30 minutes (15 minutes elapsed).
M33 - 1 hour (30 minutes elapsed) plus 1 hr of HaRGB from my H18 M33 image
Heart and Soul Wide-Field (3 hours elapsed)
Witch Head - Canon and H694 Ha
(Had to stay up late each night to catch the Rigel fixed stare of the Witch in the morning for an hour.
Not a lot of time before dawn to frame but got a start.  Until I finish,
I have above mixed in an hour of Hyperstar work I did with the M25C on this object to get the gas to really pop.  Love Registar!)

All images registered, combined and processed using Registar, PixInsight and PS4.

M25C and H694 combinations plus H694 Narrowband wide-field coming when processing complete....
Dual Camera Images done with AstroTrac:  Canon 60Da @ 200 FL plus H694 Ha @ 105 FL.
Various HaRGB or RGB+Ha methods.  DSS, Registar, PixInsight, PS4.
T-Shirt, twilight Flats and Bias calibration only.
Not astrophotography but I also started experimenting with a Hoya R70 Infra-Red filter with both the 60Da and the Canon 5d.  I could not get the 60Da to 'pop'
like I could the 5D believe it or not.  Haven't figured this out but these are a couple of examples of no-filter exposures and 1 minute exposures @ f20.  The IR image
on the left is unprocessed.  The blue-er image on the right has some simple IR processing done in PS4.  Still learning and MAN do I need to clean the Canon 5D
Downtown Bar
First Attempts at IR filter:
Acadia National Park
First test at the house:
PLUS IR filter used for G
channel replacement
Above, from Early August:

The Heart Nebula in

Dual camera simultaneous imaging
registered and combined in an
HaRGB presentation.
Narrowband combinations from the above session - SXVR-H694 camera using Baader 7nm Ha, Oiii and Sii filters.  I did not get
a lot of Oiii and Sii data - but what I did get was pretty strong.:  SXVR-H694 with Canon EOS 24-105mm zoom @ 105 FL
DSS, Registar, PixInsight, PS4.
Dual Camera Images done with AstroTrac:  SXVR-M25C camera @ 200 FL plus H694 Ha @ 105 FL.
Various HaRGB or RGB+Ha methods.  DSS, Registar, PixInsight, PS4.
T-Shirt, twilight Flats and Bias calibration only.
Heart and Soul Nebula.  1 hour each of Ha
and Oiii done in a synthetic RGB method
(Ha-sG-Oiii for RGB)
Cygnus and near
Sadr.  1 hour
each of Sii, Ha
The power of the Registar program is shown here.  I have
taken two of my H18 Ha images and integrated them into
the wide field to the left - adding signficant detail.
Cygnus and
Crescent Nebula
near Sadr.  2
hours of M25C
RGB images plus
1 hours of Ha
from the H694
camera. HaRGB.
3 Camera M25C,
Canon 60Da and
H694 (for Ha).  Top
is a PS4
method.  Bottom
was done in
PixInsight using