Astronomy and Astrophotography
    Wide Field work from 8/27/11 vacation near Bar Harbor, Maine:

I have a light portable TeleTrack mount that I have tried twice now to lug with me on vacation to dark skies and image with using my ED80 refractor - to no avail.  The TeleTrack will not guide with the
weight of the 80mm refractor on it - so after trying again, this time I decided to just put the M25C camera on it with a circa 1960 Pentax Takumar 50 mm lens and one of two filters to see what I could
get.  The skies were the darkest I have ever experienced - but the results due to the mount and old lens, are only ok.  I hope you enjoy them regardless.

To start, the entire constellation of Orion is shown and you can clearly note the Great Nebulae in the belt including M42, Running Man, HorseHead and Flame.  These images were done by stacking
anywhere from 5-25 minutes of 15-45 second subframes - a testament to the seeing conditions.  Conditions were helped by Hurricane Irene having blown through on the first day of our vacation.

    Imaging and Processing: Michael DeMita 8/27/2011
Very Dark skies!  This is Orion Rising over the trees and just 9 M of 15
second Frames - IDAS-LP Filter.
Orion Constellation.  27 M of 20
and 45 second Frames - IDAS-LP
Filter.
Orion Constellation.  42 M of 20, 30. 45 and 60 second
frames - Baader UHC-S Filter - original color and luminance
layer used in final stack.
Veil Nebula - centered..  19 M of 20
and 45 second Frames - UHC-S
Filter.
Double Cluster - centered..  14 M of
20 and 45 second Frames - UHC-S
Filter.
Pleaides centered..  14 M of 20 and
45 second Frames - IDAS-LP Filter.
NGC 7000 (North America Nebula)
centered.  25 M of 20 and 45 second
Frames - IDAS-LP Filter.
Crescemt Nebula centered.  Only 6
M of 30 second Frames - UHC-S
Filter.
M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) centered.  
Only 6 M of 30 second Frames -
UHC-S Filter.
Orion Constellation.  69 M of 20 and 45 second Frames - IDAS-LP and UHC-S
Filter (for luminance).  Combination of the two stacks to the right..
One Dark Site (Southwest Harbor, ME).  As soon as I arrived I
popped the Canon 5D on a tripod and took one 15 second exposure
looking straight up from the deck.  This was the view :).  Note
Andromeda towards the upper right clearly visible to the naked eye.
The ED80 would not guide with the TeleTrack - but made
for some great viewing.  The pictures above were taken with
just the camera on this mount - which performs well with a
light load for frames of 1 m or less.
Arrows in the photo
on the left point to
regions in Orion that I
had imaged at higher
magnification with a
DSLR and a C11"
SCT Scope some
time ago.  The more
detailed photo
thumbnails are
click-able for high
resolution versions.  
Archive and first attempts
- Click Here
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Equipment and Field Setup
- Click Here
Planetary Work - Click
Here
Page 1
I have long been interested in the this and I am now trying it.  Bought my first scope on 11/1/10.  The photography
side of it is difficult and will take years to learn.  See below for recent work and archives.
Click Page # below for most recent astrophotographic work - higher
page # is more recent:
Most Recent
Astrophotographic
Work (Page 5):
Page 6