Joe Carr
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All images below are arranged in chronological order - most recent at the top of the list. Please be patient - it may take some time to load all the thumbnail images in your web browser.

All images were acquired from my home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada unless otherwise noted - Lat: 48° 26' 45"  Long: 123° 21' 30" Elev: 43m.

My Aurora images are not included on this page.

Take the time to adjust your monitor before viewing my online photos, and you will see them at their best.
Image Date/Time Description Settings
2006.10.16
8:08pm PDT

Location: Fairfield Community Centre
Lat: N48-25 Long: W123-21 Elev: 76m

Comet C/2006 M4 Swan

I managed to use 9 images for this stacked image of Comet C/2006 M4 Swan despite being finally skunked by heavy clouds drifting into the field.

There is a hint of twin tails at the 1 and 2 o'clock positions in the image. Considering the brightness of this comet's core, it should yield spectacular images if I can find darker skies and acquire more images.

 

Camera: Canon 30D, 30 seconds, ISO 3200, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto operating at f/6.3, WB:daylight, IDAS LPS filter, 9 images. Camera piggybacked on LX200R, normal tracking, no guiding.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 9 raw images converted to FITS, aligned and stacked using sigma clipped average 1.4, moderate contrast stretch through Digital Development, then saved as 48 bit TIF. NeatImage: default NR settings.  Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit TIF image converted to 24 bit RGB, cropped & resized to 580x718 jpg.

 

2006.08.27 12:38am M101, Pinwheel Galaxy

I acquired images of M101, Pinwheel Galaxy over two nights. It is a very difficult object to image, mainly because its surface brightness is so low.

Perhaps if I acquire another 25 images, I might be able to reduce the noise somewhat. M51 and M102 are targets of mine that present similar imaging difficulties.
Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  60 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 25 raw images.

Scope: LX-200R 8", f/10, alt-az mount. Camera at prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 25 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.8, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, cropped, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.08.25 1:10am
 

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M45, Pleiades

This image of the Pleiades is taken when they were only 20° above the horizon in the NE sky after midnight. Despite the heavy moisture content in the air, I continued to take images, fighting off the dewing as best I could.

This is my first image of the Pleiades where I have captured some nebulosity surrounding this well-known cluster, so it represents my best result to date for this cluster.
Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 45 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon f/5.6 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm) operating at f/6.3,30 raw images, LDAS LPS filter.

Scope: LX-200R 8" Ritchy-Chrétien, alt-az mount. 30D camera piggybacked on LX-200R. Guiding using Meade LPI & Meade Envisage software.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 18 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - all 18 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Neat Image defaults used. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, midtone stretch, resized and saved as 24 bit RGB jpg.

2006.08.25 12:15am
 

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

 

NGC6960, Western Veil Nebula

This image of NGC6960, the Western Veil Nebula (aka the Witch's Broom Nebula) is also taken from Cattle Point last night . This is my first image of the Veil Nebula, since previous telescope platforms did not permit me to expose for long enough to see such a faint image. Now with the combination of the Canon 30D operating at ISO 3200 and the LX-200R autoguiding, it is possible to gather significantly more photons.

As you will see, this image passes the limits of the Alt-Az mount, since obvious field rotation is visible due to the 2 minute exposure times. Nonetheless, the image represents a good start to photographing more faint objects. I could mount the LX-200R on my wedge, and eliminate the field rotation problem...something to work on in the future!

Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 2 minute exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon f/5.6 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm) operating at f/6.3,19 raw images, LDAS LPS filter.

Scope: LX-200R 8" Ritchy-Chrétien, alt-az mount. 30D camera piggybacked on LX-200R. Guiding using Meade LPI & Meade Envisage software.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 19 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - all 19 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 3.0, aggressive digital development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: midtone stretch, 48 to 24 bit RGB jpg.

 


1200x565 image (130k jpg)


1600x753 image (199k jpg)

2006.08.18 11:27pm
 

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M31, M32, M110, Andromeda Galaxy, NGC 206

M31, Andromeda Galaxy dominates this image with lots of dark lanes and mottling visible. M32 galaxy is visible in the lower part of M31's arms. M110 galaxy sits high above M31 centre-top of the image, and finally NGC206 galaxy is discernable in the right side of M31's arms.

The attached image is a stack of 30 images exposed for 2 minutes at ISO 3200, taken over two nights. This is the deepest image of Andromeda I've managed to acquire to date, mainly due to using guiding (for the first time).

Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 2 minute exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon f/5.6 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm) operating at f/6.3,30 raw images, LDAS LPS filter.

Scope: LX-200R 8" Ritchy-Chrétien, alt-az mount. 30D camera piggybacked on LX-200R. Guiding using Meade LPI & Meade Envisage software.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 34 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 30 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Averaging, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Neat Image defaults used. Corel PhotoPaint: colour temperature warmed by 2,000°K, 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.26

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M27, Dumbell Galaxy

I was testing my new Meade LX-200R 8" Ritchy-Chrétien (third light), so I decided to image an object I've already imaged before so I could compare.

This photo of Dumbell Nebula is a stack of only 6 images out of 30, however increasing my exposure time from 45 seconds to 60 seconds and increasing ISO from 1600 to 3200 gave me a bit more signal to work with than my previous photo despite only using 6 images.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  60 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 33 raw images.

Scope: LX-200R 8", f/10, alt-az mount. Camera at prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 33 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 6 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, cropped, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.21 12:20am

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

M31, M32, Andromeda Galaxy

This is the deepest image of Andromeda I've managed to acquire to date. The dark lanes are easily visible

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 30 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 20 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.20 11:16pm

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

 

NGC7331, Deer Lick Group

This is a new and interesting object for me. In addition to the large galaxy NGC7331 which dominates this image, several satellite galaxies are also visible: NGC7335, NGC7336, NGC7337 and NGC7340. There was not much to see visually, but this group photographs quite well.
 

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 50 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 50 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 29 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.15 11:55pm

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

M82, Cigar Galaxy

I'm very pleased with this image, my first try at imaging this object.  There is a signifcant amount of detail, colour and dark lanes visible in this irregular galaxy.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 44 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 44 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 37 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 3.5, aggressive Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, cropped and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.15 11:25pm

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

M81, Bodes Galaxy

I'm not quite as pleased with this image as the M82 image above, but it is still a good first effort. This pair of galaxies occupy the same part of the sky, and as can been seen in the photo below, a widefield image of the two results in a beautiful and interesting perspective on this area of the night sky.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 45 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 37 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 3.5, very aggressive Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, cropped and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.08 1:15am

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

 

M3, Globular Cluster

I have found that the brighter Globular Clusters can be observed from my light-polluted location at home, so given that we were at the Centre of the Universe with an almost Full Moon staring at us, I decided to try imaging M3.  Again, I used ISO 3200 at 30 second exposures, however when I graded the 30 original images, there were only 17 keepers. I have a feeling the higher rejection rate was caused by poorer seeing and perhaps the CU deck was vibrating a bit.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 30 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 17 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.03

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M81 & M82 Widefield

This beautiful widefield image covers a 6° field of view, with M81 and M82 framed by the stars in the surrounding sky. I piggybacked my Canon 30D with 400mm telephoto lens on my LX-90 telescope and used the scope's tracking.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  Canon EF 400mm L telephoto, 30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: Camera & 400mm telephoto piggybacked on LX-90 8" SCT

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 31 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 31 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.7, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

 

2006.07.01 12:25am

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

NGC7000 - North America Nebula

The North America Nebula is a very large, very diffuse nebula, with lots of infrared emission which my camera is not particularly sensitive to.  Nonetheless, I wanted to try imaging this nebula using my Canon 400mm telephoto lens.

I had to push the processing quite a bit to emphasize the red, however I'm quite pleased with the result.

This is my second experiment with shooting at ISO 3200 for this image, and again, after my first attempt with the Trifid Nebula, it appears that image noise is not noticable, despite pushing the 30D' sensor to its limit.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon f/5.6 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm) operating at f/6.3,30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, alt-az mount. Camera piggybacked on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 27 of the original 30 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, graded, aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 3.0, aggressive Digital Development, midtone red emphasized (1.3 vs 0.8 for the other colours), converted to 48 bit TIFF.
Corel PhotoPaint
: 48 bit to 24 bit RGB conversion, moderate saturation, mid-tone enhancement, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.01 12:25am

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

Milky Way Galaxy - Sagittarius to Deneb

The Milky Way is a very large galaxy and happens to be the galaxy our solar system resides in.  So we get to see the Milky Way from the inside looking out...or in this case the bottom of this image shows the inner-most portion of our Milky Way Galaxy. The Perseus Arm spans the middle of the image.

I took this image from an urban location facing SE, hence the orange coloured light pollution near the horizon (bottom of image). I used a super wide angle Canon 10-22mm lens set to its widest field of view - yielding about 100° top to bottom of this frame.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 60 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon EF-S 10-22 zoom f/3.5-5.6 lens at 10mm (efl=16mm) , 7 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, alt-az mount. Camera piggybacked on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 7 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, aligned using shift, rotate & scale, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF.
Corel PhotoPaint
: 48 bit to 24 bit RGB conversion, size reduced by 50% and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.08 1:15am

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

 

M3, Globular Cluster

I have found that the brighter Globular Clusters can be observed from my light-polluted location at home, so given that we were at the Centre of the Universe with an almost Full Moon staring at us, I decided to try imaging M3.  Again, I used ISO 3200 at 30 second exposures, however when I graded the 30 original images, there were only 17 keepers. I have a feeling the higher rejection rate was caused by poorer seeing and perhaps the CU deck was vibrating a bit.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 30 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, and graded - 17 passed. Aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, moderate Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.07.01 12:25am

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

NGC7000 - North America Nebula

The North America Nebula is a very large, very diffuse nebula, with lots of infrared emission which my camera is not particularly sensitive to.  Nonetheless, I wanted to try imaging this nebula using my Canon 400mm telephoto lens.

I had to push the processing quite a bit to emphasize the red, however I'm quite pleased with the result.

This is my second experiment with shooting at ISO 3200 for this image, and again, after my first attempt with the Trifid Nebula, it appears that image noise is not noticable, despite pushing the 30D' sensor to its limit.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D, 30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, Canon f/5.6 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm) operating at f/6.3,30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, alt-az mount. Camera piggybacked on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 27 of the original 30 raw format images converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, graded, aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 3.0, aggressive Digital Development, midtone red emphasized (1.3 vs 0.8 for the other colours), converted to 48 bit TIFF.
Corel PhotoPaint
: 48 bit to 24 bit RGB conversion, moderate saturation, mid-tone enhancement, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.06.30 11:20pm

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M20 - Trifid Nebula

The Trifid Nebula is a diffuse emission nebula with two distinct parts - one emitting red light and one part reflecting blue light. It is situated in the richest part of the Sagittarius section of the Milky Way, and is only 2° away from M8, Lagoon Nebula (see below).

The sky was very stable over Juan de Fuca Strait, yielding some very good images.  This is my first try at photographing the Trifid Nebula, and I'm quite pleased with the result.

I experimented with shooting at ISO 3200 for this image, and I'm quite pleased with the result. After applying dark & flat frames, the image noise was not noticable, despite pushing the 30D' sensor to its limit.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 3200, WB:daylight, 30 jpg images (raw).

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 30 jpg format images  converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frame & flat frame, graded, aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.5, aggressive Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. NeatImage used to reduce noise (defaults). Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, moderate saturation, contrast, mid-tone enhancement, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.06.29 12:15am

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M27 - Dumbell Nebula

The star in the centre of the Dumbell Nebula is the source of the sphere of gas which makes up this dramatic celestial object.

I have improved on my previous attempt at imaging this nebula in 2004 (see below), mainly because of increased ISO.  My LX-90 was obviously having trouble tracking this object, since after grading the 30 original images, only 10 could be used to produce this image.  Nonetheless, I'm very pleased with this image.  The only improvement would be to boost the red response, however this would require use of a CCD imager or a modified dSLR with the infrared filter removed.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  45 sec exposures, ISO 1600, WB:daylight, 30 raw images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: 10 of the original 30 raw format images  converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark, flat & bias frames, aligned using shift/rotate/scale, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.7, aggressive Digital Development, converted to 48 bit TIFF. NeatImage used to reduce noise (defaults). Corel PhotoPaint: 48 to 24 bit TIFF conversion, moderate saturation, mid-tone enhancement, and saved as 24 bit jpg.

2006.06.24 12:43am

Location: Cattle Point, Lat: N48-26-19 Long: W123-17-36 Elev: 7m

M8 - Lagoon Nebula & NGC6530 cluster

The Lagoon Nebula is a diffuse emission nebula, second only to M42 the Orion Nebula. This nebula envelops the very bright NGC6530 star cluster, and is situated in the richest part of the Sagittarius section of the Milky Way.

The last time I imaged this nebula was in 2004 (see below), and at the time I thought mounting the LX-90 on a wedge and lengthening exposures would yield better results.  I have since learned that more shorter exposures using a higher ISO is preferable.  Moving from the Canon 300D to the 30D dSLR has allowed me to increase the ISO and with the help of dark frames, actually achieve lower noise and gather more photons for a much-improved image this time.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D,  30 sec exposures, ISO 1600, WB:daylight, 30 jpg images (large/fine setting).

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, alt-az mount. Camera prime focus on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the original 30 jpg format images  converted to lossless FITS format,  calibrated using dark frames, graded, aligned using shift & rotate, stacked using Adaptive Addition 2.4, moderate Digital Development, star size reduced by 0.9, 2x2 bin image size reduction, converted to 8 bit TIFF. Corel PhotoPaint: 8 bit TIFF annotated and saved as jpg.

2006.03.29
11:08am-12:30pm Local Time (UT +1 hr)

Location: Eclipse Camp, Sahara Desert south of Jalu, Libya N28°13' 48" E21°30' 43" Elevation 124m

Total Solar Eclipse

I observed this Total Solar Eclipse from the Sahara Desert, south of Jalu, Libya with a group from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. I estimate there were some 1,500 to 3,000 people at the Eclipse Camp.  This "city" was setup by the Libyan government in the Sahara especially for this event.

Timings
bulletFirst Contact: 11:08am
bulletSecond Contact: 12:26pm
bulletThird Contact 12:30pm
bulletFourth Contact: 1:50pm
bulletTotality duration: 4 min 3 secs

 

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel 300D, Canon 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm), 47 images taken between 11:08am and 12:53pm Local Time (UT +1 hr). All phased images taken using Baader solar filter: 1/2000 sec, f/5.6; ISO 400. All full eclipse images taken without solar filter: exposure varied from 1/2000 sec to 1/50 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400.

Image Processing: Neat Image smoothing of Second and Third Contact images. Corel PhotoPaint X3 -  up-sample Second & Third Contact images by 50%; down-sample phased images by 50%; crop and insert all in composite.

2006.03.29
Second Contact: 12:26pm Local Time (UT +1 hr)

Location: Eclipse Camp, Sahara Desert south of Jalu, Libya N28°13' 48" E21°30' 43" Elevation 124m

Total Solar Eclipse - Second Contact, Diamond Ring, Solar Flares

The Diamond Ring I observed for this Total Solar Eclipse was nothing short of spectacular.  I am very pleased with the image, which is essentially unprocessed, as it came out of the camera. There are several solar flares visible, in addition to the plasma streaming off the Sun.

Totality lasted 4 minutes and 3 seconds as predicted, during which I was taking photos periodically and observing the event with my binoculars without solar filters (which felt odd).

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel 300D, Canon 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm), single image taken without solar filter: 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400.

Image Processing: Neat Image smoothing. Corel PhotoPaint X3 -  up-sampled image by 50%; cropped.

2006.03.29
Third Contact: 12:30pm Local Time (UT +1 hr)

Location: Eclipse Camp, Sahara Desert south of Jalu, Libya N28°13' 48" E21°30' 43" Elevation 124m

Total Solar Eclipse - Third Contact, Diamond Ring, Bailey's Beads

This is another Diamond Ring I observed for this Total Solar Eclipse - again quite spectacular!  I am very pleased with the image, which is essentially unprocessed, as it came out of the camera.

After Third Contact, I took a few more images, but then shut my camera off and just observed the remainder of the event with my binoculars with solar filters. We had over an hour to sit back and enjoy the phases as the Moon slid past the Sun, eventually revealing the whole solar disk at Fourth Contact.

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel 300D, Canon 400mm L series telephoto (efl=640mm), single image taken without solar filter: 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400.

Image Processing: Neat Image smoothing. Corel PhotoPaint X3 -  up-sampled image by 50%; cropped.

2005.09.23
8:34am PDT

The Moon in morning daylight

There is a wide range of colours visible on the lunar surface in this image, and due to the stable early morning air, the image has excellent resolution.  The beautiful blue sky background sets  off the lunar colours.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, 1/430 sec, ISO 200, f/6.3, WB:daylight, Canon EF 400mm L series telephoto, circular polarizing filter.

Image Processing: Neat Image: default auto profile. Corel PhotoPaint: 3072x2048 image cropped to 642x649. Moderate contrast stretch, saturation and contrast, and adaptive unsharp applied.

2005.09.23
8:34am PDT

The Moon in morning daylight

This is the same image as above, but illustrates how different processing can produce radically different resulting images.  In this version, the colour balance was normalized to eliminate the strong blue bias of the original image. Although some detail is lost along the eastern limb, the enhanced colours in the mares and along the terminator make for a fascinating image.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, 1/430 sec, ISO 200, f/6.3, WB:daylight, Canon EF 400mm L series telephoto, circular polarizing filter.

Image Processing: Neat Image: default auto profile. Corel PhotoPaint: 3072x2048 image cropped to 786x811. Colour balance auto normalized and adaptive unsharp applied.

2005.09.10
2:27pm PDT
Giant Sunspot 798

Sunspot 798 generated X17 class solar radiation, causing widespread aurora and radio and satellite outages.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.003 sec, Gain 100, Offset 0, 54 images taken over 43 seconds.

Scope: ETX-60AT refractor, f/5.8, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite Envisage - images auto stacked - Align & Combine, Hard Edge filter. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  create image insert to highlight sunspot detail.

2005.09.06
9:40pm

Location: Observatory Hill, Lat: N 48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

M31 Andromeda Galaxy - M32 & M110 companion galaxies

The Andromeda Galaxy has a very bright core and faint dark lanes in its outer extremities, making it very tricky to image successfully.  I have worked on it this year over the late summer, and finally took a series of images which I was happy with.

I used my new Canon 400mm f/5.6 telephoto and Canon Digital Rebel 300D.  The camera/lens setup was piggybacked on my LX-90 using normal tracking, no guiding.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec & 90 sec exposures, f/6.3, 400mm fl, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 5 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, alt-az mount. Camera piggybacked on LX-90.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the best original 5 Canon raw format images selected and converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted, stacked & rotated using Adaptive Addition, aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit resulting image converted to 24 bit image; resized & cropped original 3072x2048 image to 1375x826 image size.

2004.08.16
10:10pm

Location: Cattle Point Lat: N 48-26 Long: W123-18 Elev: 7m

Double Cluster in Perseus - NGC884 & NGC869

The Double Cluster in Perseus is one of the finest examples of open clusters visible from the northern hemisphere.

This is my latest image taken at prime focus with my LX-90 using an f/6.3 focal reducer.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  30 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 16 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus, alt-az mount.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the best original 16 Canon raw format images selected and converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted & stacked using Median Combine, moderate Digital Development. Neat Image: moderate reduction of noise. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; resized & cropped to 1200x775 image size.

 

2005.07.24
8:30am PDT

The Moon & aircraft in morning daylight

Perhaps this image isn't quite as dramatic as my Lunar Eclipse & Occultation Aircraft image, however this is my first published image using my new Canon EF 400mm L series telephoto lens.  The resolution of details on the aircraft is outstanding, and the low contrast lunar features are captured just the way it appeared on the western morning sky.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, 1/2500 sec, ISO 200, f/8, WB:daylight, Canon EF 400mm L series telephoto.

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint: 3072x2048 image cropped to 1130x1173. Moderate contrast stretch and adaptive unsharp applied.

2005.07.03
5:51pm PDT
Large Sunpots 783, 786, smaller Sunspots 781, 782, 785, 788

Although sunspots 783 and 786 are large, they only generated M-class emissions.

Camera: Canon 300D Digital Rebel, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: Tele Vue TV-76 apochromatic refractor, f/6.3, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint -  original 3072x2048 image resized to 872,842, moderate contrast stretch and adaptive unsharp applied. Full resolution image inserts added to highlight sunspot detail.

2005.06.27
10:20pm PDT

Venus - Mercury - Saturn

In the evening twilight, Mercury and Venus are high in the NW sky and only 1°apart. Saturn is below the pair near the horizon.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/3 sec, fl=200mm, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint:  3072x2048 image reduced to 800x590 size, moderate contrast stretch, saturation enhanced and adaptive unsharp applied.

2005.06.22
10:13pm PDT

Venus - Mercury - Saturn

In the evening twilight, all three planets are high in the NW sky: Saturn - Venus - Mercury (left to right).

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5, 1/6 sec, fl=100mm, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint:  3072x2048 image reduced to 800x460 size, agressive contrast stretch and saturation enhanced.


This is a black & white negative version of the above colour image

2005.01.04
9:41pm PST

Location: Bruno Quennville's place. Lat: N 48-29 Long: W123-18 Elev: 37m

C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)

This image shows the bright central core and the large, blue-green coma of Comet Machholz.

This image was taken with no Moon in the sky, so the darker skies helped achieve better results, although there is no visible tail, even when examining the negative grayscale image. Darker sites yield images with a wisp of two tails (ion tail and debris tail).

Star trails resulted in this image, since the comet moves quite rapidly through the sky, and I was tracking the comet for imaging purposes.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, 90 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, IDAS LPR filter, 14 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus, polar alignment (wedge), normal tracking, no guiding.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 48 bit raw format converted to 48 bit tiff, aligned and stacked using Normalized Average, moderate contrast stretch through Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: image converted to 24 bit RGB & cropped to 750x712. Alternate black and white negative image created.


Click on image for full field view

2005.01.04
11:00pm PST

Location: Bruno Quennville's place. Lat: N 48-29 Long: W123-18 Elev: 37m

C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), Hyades, Pleiades

This widefield image shows Comet Machholz as it approaches the Pleiades, with the Hyades off to the South (left).

This image was taken with no Moon in the sky, so the darker skies helped achieve better results, although there is no visible tail, even when examining the negative grayscale image. Darker sites yield images with a wisp of two tails (ion tail and debris tail).

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, ISO 800, f/5.6, 55mm fl, WB:daylight, IDAS LPR filter. Camera piggybacked on LX-90 SCT.  10 images - 3 at 90 sec & 7 at 60 sec.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus, polar alignment (wedge), normal tracking, no guiding.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 48 bit raw format files converted to 48 bit tiff, aligned and stacked using Normalized Median, moderate contrast stretch through Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: image converted to 24 bit RGB & cropped to 800x571.

C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) comet 2004.12.27
9:31pm PST

Location: Astronomy Café, Bruno Quennville's place. Lat: N 48-29 Long: W123-18 Elev: 37m

C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)

This is my first image of a comet. Comet Machholz is a very bright comet at magnitude 5.5, and is forecast to brighten over the coming weeks.

This image was taken with a Full Moon, so I look forward to taking more images of Comet Machholz from darker skies.  There is a bright core and a rather large blue-green coma, despite the full Moon. There is no visible tail.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D, 200mm fl, f/5.6, 90 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, IDAS LPR filter, single image. Camera piggybacked on LX-90 SCT.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 48 bit raw format converted to 48 bit tiff, aggressive contrast stretch through Digital Development, 2x2 bin (avg),  applied. Corel PhotoPaint: image cropped to 606x496 & small image created after NeatImage run. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

2004.11.19
6:37pm PST

First Quarter Moon

This image is also taken with my new Tele Vue 76 apochromatic telescope.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/200 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: Tele Vue 76 3" apochromatic refractor, f/6.3, variable camera adapter + 2.5x Powermate + 2 rings - handheld.  f/15.75, efl=1450.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: convert 48 bit raw to 24 bit RGB, moderate contrast stretch. Corel PhotoPaint: 3076x2048 image cropped and resampled to 750x705 size, moderate adaptive unsharp filter applied.

2004.12.18
8:57pm PST

The "X" Feature - first quarter Moon

The "X" Feature was discussed in a letter to Skynews (Canadian magazine) written by David Chapman from RASC Halifax, NS, Canada.  The image in the magazine was taken August 22, 2004, and a forecast was published that it would be visible again on Dec 18, 2004.  Sure enough it was!

The crater closest to the "X" to the right and down is Werner, which is 71km across.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/320 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: Tele Vue 76 3" apochromatic refractor, f/6.3, variable camera adapter + 2.5x Powermate + 2 rings - handheld.  f/15.75, efl=1450.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: convert 48 bit raw to 24 bit RGB, moderate contrast stretch and gamma adjusted to favour terminator. Corel PhotoPaint: 3072x2048 image rotated. 178x248 closeup image cropped out. Whole Moon image cropped and resampled to 576x800 size. Neat Image: moderate noise reduction applied. PhotoPaint: Composite image created.

2004.11.16
5:38pm PST

Moon - 4 days old

This thin crescent Moon image is one day older than the image below.  This image is also taken with my new Tele Vue 76 apochromatic telescope.

It is interesting to compare this image with the one taken on 2004.07.20 using my Meade LX-90, although that image was taken in poor seeing conditions.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/250 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: Tele Vue 76 3" apochromatic refractor, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: convert 48 bit raw to 24 bit RGB, moderate contrast stretch, background darkened. Corel PhotoPaint: 3076x2048 image cropped to 875x819 size, moderate adaptive unsharp filter applied.

2004.11.15
5:32pm PST

3 day old Moon & Earthshine

Earthshine is readily apparent in this image of a thin crescent Moon.  This image is my first taken with my new Tele Vue 76 apochromatic telescope, and represents my best effort to date for imaging earthshine.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: Tele Vue 76 3" apochromatic refractor, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint: original 2048x1360 jpg image cropped to 749x621 size. No other processing done.

2004.11.05
6:18am PST

Jupiter - Venus

In early morning twilight, this pair of planets are striking in the SE sky. Jupiter is to the right of brilliant Venus by 0.6° - a very close conjunction..

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/6.3, 1.3 sec, fl=200mm, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: Digital develop Canon Raw to 48bit tif, moderate contrast stretch. Corel PhotoPaint:  3072x2048 image cropped to 800x615 size, 48bit to 24 bit conversion.

Jupiter & Venus in morning twilight 2004.11.03
6:08am PST

Jupiter - Venus

In early morning twilight, this pair of planets are striking in the SE sky. Jupiter is below brilliant Venus by 1.5°, with Zaniah (mag 4 star) above Venus and to the right by about the same offset distance.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/6.3, 4 sec, fl=90mm, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: Digital develop Canon Raw to 48bit tif, 2x2 bin, contrast stretch. Corel PhotoPaint:  3072x2048 image cropped to 800x628 size, 48bit to 24 bit conversion.

 

2004.10.27
6:03pm to 10:00pm PDT

Location: Mt. Tolmie, Victoria, BC, Canada

Lunar Eclipse - start to finish

This composite image features the Dash-8 aircraft crossing the eclipsed moon, but also shows the progress of the eclipse from Moon rise over Mount Baker to when the partial eclipse ended.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  from 1/200 sec to 2 sec, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:Canon File Viewer: convert original Raw files to 48 bit TIF. Corel PhotoPaint: moderate sharpen, images cropped & reduced in size and moderate contrast stretch and adaptive unsharp.

 

Lunar Eclipse & Occultation by Aircraft!

2004 Astro-Photgraphy Award
RASC Victoria Centre

As featured on Spaceweather.com and space.com

Order an 8"x10" custom print of this photo

2004.10.27
6:45pm PDT

Location: Mt. Tolmie, Victoria, BC, Canada

Lunar Eclipse & Occultation by Aircraft

What are the odds of an aircraft passing in front of an eclipsed Moon?  Here a Dash-8 turboprop aircraft flying from Seattle to Victoria crosses the partially-eclipsed Moon.

Photo taken after umbral contact and before the total eclipse began. Moon light can be seen shining through the cabin windows, and also the turboprop exhaust is apparent as it distorts the lunar image behind the aircraft.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/80 sec, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:Canon File Viewer: convert original Raw files to 48 bit TIF. Corel PhotoPaint: moderate sharpen, original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 800x678 size.

Lunar Eclipse rises over Mount Baker

Lunar Eclipse rises over Mount Baker

2004.10.27
6:02pm PDT

Location: Mt. Tolmie, Victoria, BC, Canada

Lunar Eclipse rises over Mount Baker

The Lunar Eclipse was already underway when the Moon rose here on the west coast of Canada.

The Moon is rising over Mount Baker in Washington State, USA, which is due east from our vantage point here in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/250 sec, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:Canon File Viewer: convert original Raw files to 48 bit TIF. Corel PhotoPaint: moderate contrast stretch, original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 738x625 size (1st image), and 800x580 (2nd image).

 

2004.10.26
8:55pm PDT

Full Moon - 98% phase

This image of the Moon shows the distinctive colour variations in the Mares or Seas - a result of several lava flows in the Moon's distant past when it was volcanic.

This image (and others) are practice for the Lunar Eclipse tomorrow night.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/2000 sec, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:ImagesPlus: original Raw files processed and 2x2 average binned to reduce size of image. Corel PhotoPaint: Unsharp mask (radius-5), moderate contrast stretch, original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 919x916 size.

2004.08.17
9:03pm PST

Jupiter - Moon

Separation 3° - a 1 day old Moon shows some Earthshine as it sinks into the West with its companion Jupiter just south of it.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/8 sec, fl=200mm, efl=320mm, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint:  original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 800x533 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted slightly to enhance sky colour.

2004.08.16
10:10pm

Location: Astronomy Cafe, Bruno Quennville's place. Lat: N 48-29 Long: W123-18 Elev: 37m

M13 - Hercules Cluster

The Hercules Cluster is the biggest and brightest globular cluster visible from the northern hemisphere.

This is my first image taken at prime focus with my LX-90 in polar alignment using the wedge.  No Periodic Error Correction was used, which is apparent when the larger image is viewed - there are some jaggies.

Despite this problem, this image is still my best to date of M13.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  2 mins, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 20 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, prime focus, polar alignment (wedge).

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: the best original 7 Canon raw format images selected and converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted & stacked using Adaptive Addition (4 lighter), aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 770x625.

2004.08.13
10:10pm

Location: Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, BC Lat: N 48-31 Long: W123-25 Elev: 78m

M11 - Wild Duck Cluster

The Wild Duck Cluster is my favourite open cluster.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  30 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 8 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 8 Canon raw format images converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted, rotated & scaled, stacked using Adaptive Addition (4 lighter), aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 772x625. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

Diagram from www.spaceweather.com

2004.08.13
5:10pm PDT
Huge Sunpot 649
Smaller Sunspots 652, 657, 660

Sunspot 649 is even more huge than 652 (see image below), although to date no aurora are attributed to this sunspot.  X-class emissions are likely from this sunspot, but it remains to be seen if they hit the Earth's atmosphere.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.003 sec, Gain 43, Offset 73, 20 images taken over 150 seconds.

Scope: ETX-60AT refractor, f/5.8, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine, Hard Edge filter. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  shift colour to orange/yellow and create image inserts to highlight sunspot detail.

2004.08.12
12:53am

Location: Lochside Drive at Jane's Farm, Central Saanich, BC Lat: N 48-33 Long: W123-23 Elev: 23m

Perseid Meteor

This rainbow coloured meteor is my first image of a meteor. It strikes me that photographing meteors is like fishing - you cast your line and hope for the best.  I got lucky with my first try!

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  30 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, single image.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 8 bit jpg format has aggressive Digital Development applied. Corel PhotoPaint: original 2048x1360 image cropped to 477x349 and contrast stretched. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

2004.07.24
12:16am

Location: Victoria Fish & Game, Malahat, BC Lat: N 48-31 Long: W123-34 Elev: 345m

M8 - Lagoon Nebula
NGC6530 - Open Cluster

The Lagoon Nebula fills the frame, including the dark lane between the two parts of the nebula.  On the left side of the dark lane is an open cluster of stars - NGC6530.

The Lagoon Nebula looks beautiful through a Lumicon Deep Sky filter, however this filter cannot be used photographically with my setup.

This is my first image of the Lagoon Nebula.  It needs more signal, so next time I will setup my LX-90 on a wedge and polar align.  This will allow me to take longer exposures, which should greatly help the signal to noise ratio in the resultant image.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 8 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 8 Canon raw format images converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted, rotated & scaled, stacked using Adaptive Addition (4 lighter), aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 800x556. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

2004.07.23
11:33pm

Location: Victoria Fish & Game, Malahat, BC Lat: N 48-31 Long: W123-34 Elev: 345m

M17 - Swan Nebula

The Swan Nebula looks beautiful through a Lumicon OIII filter, however this filter cannot be used photographically with my setup.

This is my first image of the Swan Nebula.  It needs more signal, so next time I will setup my LX-90 on a wedge and polar align.  This will allow me to take longer exposures, which should greatly help the signal to noise ratio in the resultant image.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 7 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 7 Canon raw format images converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted & rotated, stacked using Adaptive Addition (4 lighter), aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 750x713. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

2004.07.23
11:05pm

Location: Victoria Fish & Game, Malahat, BC Lat: N 48-31 Long: W123-34 Elev: 345m

M27 - Dumbell Nebula

The Dumbell Nebula looks beautiful through a Lumicon Deep Sky filter, however this filter cannot be used photographically with my setup.

This is my first image of the Dumbell Nebula.  It needs more signal, so next time I will setup my LX-90 on a wedge and polar align.  This will allow me to take longer exposures, which should greatly help the signal to noise ratio in the resultant image.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight, 8 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 8 Canon raw format images converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted, rotated & scaled, stacked using Adaptive Addition (4 lighter), aggressive Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 762x600. NeatImage: moderate noise reduction applied.

 

2004.07.20
10:25pm PDT

Moon - waxing crescent, 11% phase

Mare Crisium is the well defined Mare in the centre position, with Mare Fecunditatis below it - less well defined. Atlasis the  small but easy to see crater near the top of the terminator.

Colour fringing is caused by the poor seeing conditions, and low altitude of the Moon.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/30 sec, ISO 800, WB:daylight.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint: Unsharp mask (radius-5), moderate contrast stretch, original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 750x710 size.

Diagram from www.spaceweather.com

2004.07.13
5:40pm PDT
Sun

Multiple sunspots: 642, 644, 646, 648, 649.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.003 sec, Gain 43, Offset 70, 51 images taken over 50 seconds.

Scope: ETX-60AT refractor, f/5.8, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine, Hard Edge filter. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  shift colour to orange/yellow and create image inserts to highlight sunspot detail.

2004.07.13
12:08am

Location: Astronomy Cafe, Bruno Quennville's place. Lat: N 48-29 Long: W123-18 Elev: 37m

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy & M32

This is my best image of M31 to date, and the only image I have felt is worthy of publishing. There is a dark lane just visible on the lower left limb of M31

No wedge was used, however the field rotation is barely visible.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800, f/5.6, fl=200mm, WB:daylight, 11 images.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original  11 Canon raw format images converted to 48 bit TIFF image,  shifted & rotated, 11 images stacked using Adaptive Addition (lighter), moderate Digital Development, contrast stretch, and 10 iterations of Richardson Lucy. Corel PhotoPaint: 48 bit image converted to 24 bit image; 3072x2048 image size cropped to 1693x1305 image size cropped to 736x593 for website display.

M13 - Hercules Cluster wide-field image 2004.07.03
11:24pm
M13 - Hercules Cluster wide-field image

This is a wide-field image of the M13 area of the sky. 2° field-of-view

Since no wedge was used, the telescope was not polar aligned, therefore some field rotation is visible in this image (stars near the edge of the frame are oblong shaped).

M13 would show more stars clustered if longer exposures and polar alignment were used, however this is my best image of M13 to date.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800, f/5.6, fl=200mm, WB:daylight, 12 images. Camera piggybacked on LX-90 tracking M13, no wedge.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original  12 Canon raw format images converted to 24 bit TIFF image,  3072x2048 image size cropped to 1693x1305, shifted, rotated, scaled, 12 images stacked using Adaptive Addition moderate Digital Development & contrast stretch. Corel PhotoPaint: 1693x1305 image size cropped to 800x587 for website display.

2004.05.19
10:40pm Local New Zealand time

Location:
The countryside near Warkworth, New Zealand.
Lat: 36° 24' S
Long: 174° 40' E

Milky Way - Southern Cross Region

In the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year, the Milky Way was at its best, just as it is in the wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere. This image shows off a great deal of structure in the nebulosity, dark lanes, and superb features such as Eta Carinae, the Southern Cross, Coalsack dark nebula, and many very bright nebulae and star clouds. Unaided eye observations of the Milky Way were superb in the LVM 6.0 skies. Using my 9x63 binoculars revealed amazing colours and detail in the huge number of nebulae along this portion of the Milky Way.

The lower image is a diagram showing the various features annotated - from Starry Night.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  30 sec, ISO 800, f/5.6, fl=18mm, WB:daylight.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original  Canon raw format converted to 24 bit TIFF image,  moderate Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: Two images rotated and mosaicked together, 4208x3086 image size reduced to 800x587, contrast stretch to enhance nebulosity and darken background, saturation increased to emphasize the colours.

2004.04.22
8:57pm PST

Venus - Moon

Separation 4° - a 2 day old Moon shows some Earthshine as it sinks into the West.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/6 sec, 165mm fl, ISO 800, -1EV, WB:daylight.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint:  original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 533x800 size,  contrast adjusted to enhance sky colour, moderate adaptive unsharp.

Starry Night Protm image showing star names for this image

2004.03.30
8:15pm PST

Location: Summit Park, Victoria

Venus - Pleiades - Mars

Venus is less than 1° south of the Pleiades in this image, with Mars just above and to the left of Venus.

This is also a good illustration of how much light pollution is present in Victoria's skies.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5, 15 sec, 18mm fl, ISO 400, WB:daylight.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint:  original 2048x3072 image cropped & reduced to 550x800 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted and moderate adaptive unsharp applied to enhance Pleiades.

2004.03.28
12:05am PST
Jupiter Triple Shadow

This rare event shows three shadows of Jupiter's moons: Ganymede, Io and Callisto. The moon Ganymede is visible as a black spot on the planetary disk, and Callisto is visible in space offset beside Jupiter.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager 0.354 sec, Gain 100, Offset 42, 235 images taken over 120 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 1.25" Everbright diagonal, 2.5 Powermate.

Image Processing:
AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 80%, Eval Count 10, Medium Edge filter. 
Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 346x368 size. Contrast stretch on Callisto.

2004.03.14
8:17pm PST
Venus

This represents my best image of Venus to date, and the only close up image showing the half phase. I am pleased with this image, since Venus is such a difficult planet to photograph successfully due to the high brightness of the planet.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager 0.008 sec, Gain 100, Offset 41, 302 images taken over 209 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" William Optic diagonal, 2.5 Powermate.

Image Processing:
AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10, , Medium Edge filter. 
Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 201x165 size. Contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary colour.

 

2004.03.12
11:47pm PST

 

Jupiter

There is an improvement of detail in the polar regions, and the equatorial belts show about the same detail as the Jupiter image taken 11 days previous (see below).

Location: Pearson College Observatory, Metchosin, BC

Camera: Meade LPI Imager 0.17 sec, Gain 100, Offset 73, 27 images taken over 100 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" William Optic diagonal, 2.5 Powermate.

Image Processing:
AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10, , Medium Edge filter. 
Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 281x289 size. Contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary detail and colour.

 

2004.03.01
9:30pm PST
Jupiter

This represents my best image of Jupiter to date, despite the focus being soft due to high cloud. Several festoons and swirls in the upper equatorial belt are quite obvious in this image.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager 0.08 sec, Gain 100, Offset 18, 13 images taken over 122 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" William Optic diagonal, 2.5 Powermate.

Image Processing:
AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 80%, Eval Count 10, EdgeHard filter. 
Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 297x283 size. Contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary detail and colour.

2004.03.01
8:55pm PST
Jupiter
Io, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede

This is an odd configuration of Jovian moons, with all four of the easily visible moons appearing on one side of the planet.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager. Moons: 0.25 sec, Gain 100, Offset 61, 107 images taken over 104 seconds. Planet: 0.045 sec, Gain 83, Offset 6, 204 images taken over 121 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" William Optic diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 80%, Eval Count 10, EdgeMedium filter.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 505x234 size. Original overexposed planetary image replaced. Contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary detail and colour.

2004.02.18
 
M42 - Great Orion Nebula

This image is my best of the Orion Nebula, showing a great deal of structure in the nebulosity, dark lanes, and very distinct magenta and blue colours.

Focus is only marginal, partly caused by the poor atmospheric conditions, and partly because I didn't use my Stiletto focuser.

This is a single image. Normally a series of images would be taken and digitally stacked, but cloud cover interrupted my work.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  60 sec, ISO 800.

Scope: LX-200 12" SCT, f/10, prime focus.

Image Processing: ImagesPlus: original 3072x2048 image 3x3 binned to 1024x682 size,  moderate Digital Development. Corel PhotoPaint: image cropped to 936x681, levels adjusted to enhance nebulosity around the stars.

 

2004.02.11
4:47pm PST
Sun

Sunspot 551 appears in the lower left quadrant and smaller sunspot 554 appears in the upper right quadrant.

This is my second attempt at imaging the Sun using the Meade LPI Imager.  Using an LPI to image bright objects such as the Sun makes the imaging process easy.

The Hard Edge Filter seems suited for solar images to enhance the photosphere details, especially the sunspots.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.006 sec, Gain 83, Offset 47, 17 images taken over 71 seconds.

Scope: ETX-60AT refractor, f/5.8, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine, Hard Edge filter. Min Quality 80%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 496x424 size, minor contrast stretch and colour enhancement.

2004.02.11
4:44pm PST
Sun

Sunspot 551 appears in the lower left quadrant and smaller sunspot 554 appears in the upper right quadrant.

This is my second attempt at imaging the Sun using the Meade LPI Imager.  Using an LPI to image bright objects such as the Sun makes the imaging process easy.

The Edges Only Filter is an interesting way to process solar images to emphasize just the sunspots and the solar disk.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.006 sec, Gain 83, Offset 47, 17 images taken over 71 seconds.

Scope: ETX-60AT refractor, f/5.8, std diagonal, Identiview solar filter.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine, Hard Edge filter. Min Quality 80%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 510x474 size, minor contrast stretch.

2004.01.24
4:42pm PST

Venus - Moon  Conjunction - daylight

Separation 5° - Moon setting in the West

Sunset 5:00pm, so this image was taken about 20 minutes before sunset.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/100 sec, 200mm fl, ISO 100.

Image: processed using Corel PhotoPaint:  original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 798x447 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance moon detail and sky colour, moderate adaptive unsharp.

2004.01.24
8:05pm PST

Venus - Moon  Conjunction - dark

Separation 5° - Moon setting in the West

This image was taken the same day as the one above, but about an hour before the Moon and Venus set in the west.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/15 sec, 165mm fl, ISO 100.

Image: processed using Corel PhotoPaint:  original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 800x452 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance moon detail and darken sky, moderate adaptive unsharp.

Saturn 2004.01.15
10:05pm PST
Saturn

The striking pale yellow planetary colour combined with the clearly visible equatorial band and darker south polar region shows rare planetary detail for Saturn.  The Cassini Division is broad and dark, and the gray inner Crepe "C" ring is very obvious.  The different colours of the "A" and "B" rings is also very obvious in this image.

This is my second attempt at imaging Saturn at Prime Focus using the Meade LPI Imager.  Saturn was near zenith, and the air was as stable as I've ever experienced, so it was ideal conditions for imaging.

I'm very pleased with this second attempt at imaging Saturn with the LPI.  It proves to me that the Meade LPI Imager in combination with the 2.5x Powermate is an excellent combination for imaging planets.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.16 sec, Gain 100, Offset 65, 202 images taken over 100 seconds.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 1.25" Everbright diagonal, 2.5x Powermate.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 232x176 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary and ring detail and colour.

Jupiter 2004.01.15
11:18pm PST
Jupiter

This is my first acceptable image of Jupiter, and was taken Prime Focus with the Meade LPI Imager.  Image was taken while Jupiter was only at about 30° altitude in the SE sky, and was taken through tree branches, so the image is certainly not the best it could be.

I'm fairly pleased with this first result, however I will try again when Jupiter is higher in the sky.  I will also use my 2.5x Powermate to increase the size of the planetary disk (see Saturn image above)

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.09 sec, Gain 100, Offset 22, 164 images taken over 91 seconds

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - 164 images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 166x149 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary detail and colour.


No labels


Stars & planets labeled

As featured on Jan 9/04 - SpaceWeather.com

2004.01.05
12:32am PST
Moon Halo

This is the first time I've captured this often-observed phenomena, when ice crystals act like jewels in the atmosphere, creating a halo around a bright, near full phase Moon. Due to the identical interfacial angles of the ice crystals, the halos (lunar or solar) all have a radius of 22° or 44° edge-to-edge in the photo.

This photo was taken on an especially cold January night for Victoria. The temperature was -5°C (23°F). Saturn is visible at the 10 o'clock position, Capella at 2 o'clock, Betelgeuse at 8:30, and Aldebaran at 6 o'clock - all inside the ring. The three Orion belt stars are just visible outside the ring at the 7:30 position - to the right of the trees. Below the Moon is an aberration caused by internal reflections of the camera lens caused by the overexposed Moon.

More info about halos: Atmospheric Optics

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  2 sec, ISO 800.

Lens: Canon 18-55 EF-S zoom, fl-18mm, f/5.6

Image Processing: Corel PhotoPaint - original 3072x2048 image size reduced to 800x533, moderate contrast stretch to enhance the halo.

2003.12.29
9:29pm PST
Moon - Day 14

Mare Nectaris is the big dark area. Theophilus is the crater in the top right corner.

This pair of images illustrate how the seeing changes so dramatically from one moment to the next.  Both images are taken within a few seconds of each other, and yet the lower image exhibits a huge gain in image clarity as compared with the image above due to a momentarily stable atmosphere.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.062 sec, Gain 100, Offset 43

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - single images, Edge Enhancement - Medium. Min Quality 80%.  Corel PhotoPaint - auto enhance.

The Autostar Suite's Edge Enhancement was tried out on these images. There is little improvement over the image taken below without Edge Enhancement applied.

2003.12.29
9:27pm PST
Moon - Day 14

Mare Nectaris is the big dark area. Theophilus is the crater in the top right corner.

This image illustrates the amazing resolving power of the LPI imager, despite the sensor only having 640x480 pixels.

 

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.062 sec, Gain 100, Offset 43

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - single images. Min Quality 80%.  Corel PhotoPaint - auto enhance.

2003.12.29
9:23pm PST
Moon - Day 14

These two images of the same southern area of the Moon illustrate how the seeing changes so dramatically from one moment to the next.  Both images are taken within a few seconds of each other, and yet the lower image exhibits a huge gain in image clarity as compared with the image above due to a momentarily stable atmosphere.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 0.062 sec, Gain 100, Offset 43

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - single images. Min Quality 80%.  Corel PhotoPaint - auto enhance.

 

2003.12.25
11:39pm PST
Saturn

My first usable image of Saturn, and first light for my new Meade LPI Imager.

The air was very stable this evening, giving a perfect opportunity to image Saturn.

Camera: Meade LPI Imager, 1/5 sec, Gain 100, Offset 80, Histogram 60-95.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, 2" diagonal.

Image Processing: AutoStar Suite - 10 images auto stacked - Align & Combine. Min Quality 70%, Eval Count 10.  Corel PhotoPaint -  original 640x480 image cropped & reduced to 144x127 size,  contrast & saturation adjusted to enhance planetary & ring detail and colour.

2003.11.29
11:29pm PST
M45 - The Pleiades

This was the first time I used my new Stiletto Focuser. This Ronchi screen focuser ensures a sharp focus is achieved when using SLR or CCD cameras. I think this photo is the sharpest starfield I have imaged to date.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  15 sec, ISO 800.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint: original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 800x533 size,  levels adjusted to enhance nebulosity around the stars.

Moon

Moon - embossed version

2003.11.03
7:57pm PST

Moon - Day 22

Mare Serenitatis is the big dark area just above centre, with Mare Tranquillitatis about the same size directly below. Mare Crisium is smaller and off to the right. Copernicus is the largest crater near the N-S mid point of the terminator. Mar Imbrium is above Copernicus, and Archimedes is the large crater near the top edge of the Mare.

Location: 3046 Jackson St., Victoria

Some might consider the lower embossed image to be over processed, however I like it because the striations in the lunar surface are greatly enhanced by the embossing.

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  1/50 sec, ISO 100.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, prime focus.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint: Unsharp mask (radius-5), original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 700x811 size, brightness reduced & contrast increased. Lower image lightly embossed.

2003.11.03
12:54am PST

Mars- Moon  Conjunction

Separation 3° - Moon setting in the West

Camera: Canon EOS 300D,  f/5.6, 1/4 sec, 135mm, ISO 800.

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint:  original 3072x2048 image cropped & reduced to 700x677 size.

2003.09.13
12:10am PDT

Mars

This is my third try at imaging Mars, and again, shows much more detail than my first two attempts. When this image was taken, Mars had an apparent diameter of 24" and its magnitude is -2.6.

This image shows how much the south polar cap has melted.

This image shows much truer colours than my previous imaging attempts. This image closely resembles the image observed through my scope's eyepiece.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500,  1/30 sec, f/5.1, 32mm fl, ISO 400, max 4x optical zoom.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 9.7mm Plossl eyepiece, Sirius NPC1 filter.

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: 61 images aligned and stacked using normalized median. Original 2272x1704 image cropped to 500x500. Minor enhancements made using Corel PhotoPaint prior to final image being produced.

2003.08.04
9:48pm PDT

Moon - Day 14

Mare Imbrium is the big dark area. Plato is the largest crater above the Mare. Vallis Alpes is the straight line of mountains visible near the terminator to the right of Plato.  Cassini is the funny looking crater with a crater inside it below Vallis Alpes.
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/38 sec, f/4.2, 23mm, ISO 400, 3x optical zoom

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 12.4mm Plossl eyepiece

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint: 1px Gaussian Blur, adaptive unsharpen, original 2272x1704 image reduced by 35%, desaturated.

Mars

2003.07.28
10:10 UT

Mars

This is my second try at imaging Mars, and shows much more detail than my first attempt. When this image was taken, Mars had an apparent diameter of 23.05" and is magnitude -2.4.

This image shows a dimple in the polar cap (read NASA's Mars is Melting), and also reveals a green patch in the upper right quadrant.  The areas of orange colour are widespread in this image.

I finally solved the problem of the blue-green fringe along the top.  I aligned the red, blue & green components of the image, then recombined them into a new composite image.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500,  1/30 sec, f/5.1, 32mm fl, ISO 400, max 4x optical zoom .

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 9.7mm Plossl eyepiece, Sirius NPC1 filter.

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: 71 images aligned and stacked, adaptive addition. Original 2272x1704 image reduced by 50% in size and cropped.

2003.07.28
3:10am PDT

2003.07.28
10:10 UT

Mars

By late August, Mars will approach closer to Earth than it has been (or will be) in thousands of years.  This summer offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe and image this planet. When this image was taken, Mars had an apparent diameter of 21.5".

The polar cap is apparent in all but the smallest of telescopes, and this image reveals a gray-green patch above the polar cap. Above that is an orange patch, then a blue-green fringe.  I'm not sure what the fringe is, but I checked other telescopes at the time, and every one seemed to display this fringe.

Location: Victoria Fish & Game, Malahat

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500,  1/250 sec, f/5.1, 32mm fl, ISO 400, max 4x optical zoom & max digital zoom 3x.

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 9.7mm Plossl eyepiece, Sirius NPC1 filter.

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: 50 images aligned and stacked, adaptive addition. Original 2272x1704 image reduced by 50% size and cropped.

Mars - Moon Conjuction 2003.07.17
1:39am PDT
Mars- Moon  Conjunction
Separation 0.3°

Location: 3046 Jackson St., Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500,  f/5.1, 96mm, ISO 400, max 4x optical zoom & max digital zoom 3x, 2x telephoto
Moon: 1/500 sec
Mars: 1/125 sec

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint:  original 2272x1704 image reduced by 50% size. Composite image.

2003.06.05
10:20pm PDT
Moon - Day 5
Theophilus crater - top right crater in group of three large craters near centre of image.
Mare Nectaris - flat "sea", bottom right corner of image

Location: 3046 Jackson St., Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/11 sec, f/4.8, 29mm, ISO 400, max 4x optical zoom

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 12.4mm Plossl eyepiece

Image Processing:
Corel PhotoPaint: auto enhance, adaptive unsharpen, original 2272x1704 image reduce by 35%, desaturated.

2003.05.27
5:13pm PDT

Sun - Sunspots 365 (left) & 368 (right)

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

ScopeTronix Identi-View solar filter on the ETX-60.

Some structure is visible in the sunspot - dark interior, lighter exterior.  Structure also visible on the Sun's surface.

Image should be flipped L-R.

 

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/222 sec, f/5.8, 64mm, ISO 200, max 5x digital zoom

Scope: ETX-60 60mm refractor, f/5.8, a-focal, 12.4mm Plossl eyepiece, Identiview solar filter

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: auto stretch  and 3x3 bin of  original 2272x1704 image

2003.05.27
5:16pm PDT
Sun - Sunspots 365 (left) & 368 (right)

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

ScopeTronix Identi-View solar filter on the ETX-60.

Some structure is visible in the sunspot - dark interior, lighter exterior.  Structure also visible on the Sun's surface.

Image should be flipped L-R.

 

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/202 sec, f/5.6, 30mm, ISO 200, max 5x optical zoom

Scope: ETX-60 60mm refractor, f/5.8, a-focal, 12.4mm Plossl eyepiece, Identiview solar filter

Image Processing:
ImagesPlus: auto stretch  and 3x3 bin of  original 2272x1704 image

2003.05.08
4:11pm
Sun - Sunspot 351

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

My first try at using my new ScopeTronix Identi-View solar filter on the ETX-60.

Some structure is visible in the sunspot - dark interior, lighter exterior ring.  Structure also visible on the Sun's surface.

Image should be flipped L-R.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/116 sec, f/4.7, 28mm, ISO 200, Noise Reduction OFF

Scope: ETX-60 60mm refractor, f/5.8, a-focal, 12.4mm Plossl eyepiece, Identiview solar filter

Image Processing:
None - cropped down from original 2272x1704

2003.05.08
12:30pm
Sun - Sunspot 351

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

My first try at using my new ScopeTronix Identi-View solar filter on the ETX-60.

Some structure is visible in the sunspot - dark interior, lighter exterior ring.  Structure also visible on the Sun's surface.

Image should be flipped L-R.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/82 sec, f/4.1, 22mm, ISO 200, Noise Reduction OFF

Scope: ETX-60 60mm refractor, f/5.8, a-focal, 9mm Kellner eyepiece, Identiview solar filter

Image Processing:
None - cropped down from original 2272x1704

2003.03.17
9:26pm

M42 - Great Orion Nebula - Trapezium

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

My first try at using ImagesPlus - using dark frames to calibrate the images, and stacking images to improve the signal to noise ratio.  This image shows an obvious improvement over my previous M42 images (below).  There is some obvious structure in the Trapezium's nebulosity.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 30 sec, f/4.5, 27mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3 focal reducer, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: 11x30 sec, avg dark frame calibration stacked (adaptive add), originals 2272x1704 jpg

2002.11.29
11:09pm

NGC869 & NGC884 - The Double Cluster

Location: Sandy Barta's place, Astronomy Cafe

Both clusters are in the field of view this time, and my focus skills are improving!

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 57 sec, f/2.6, 8mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 40mm eyepiece

Image Processing: retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg

2002.11.29
10:42pm

M45 - The Pleiades

The three brightest blue stars: Alcyone (upper left), Merope (lower left), Maia (middle right).

Location: Sandy Barta's place, Astronomy Cafe

I didn't have a wide enough field of view to see the whole group, even with the 40mm eyepiece. Next time, I'll use the focal reducer for a wider field.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 132 sec, f/2.6, 8mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 40mm eyepiece

Image Processing: retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg

2002.11.01
11:48pm

M42 - Great Orion Nebula

Location: Sandy Barta's place, Astronomy Cafe

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 59 sec, f/3.2, 31mm, ISO 200, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece, Lumicon Deep Sky filter

Image Processing: retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg

2002.11.01
11:50pm
M42 - Great Orion Nebula

Location: Sandy Barta's place, Astronomy Cafe

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 58 sec, f/3.2, 14mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece, Lumicon Deep Sky filter

Image Processing: retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg

2002.10.30
11:38pm

Saturn

Location: Summit, Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 1/4 sec, f/5, 31mm, ISO 200, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: un-retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg

2002.10.16
10:41pm

M32, NGC 221, the small, 9th magnitude round galaxy found next to M31, the Great Andromeda Galaxy.

This is my one of my first attempts at deep space astro photography using my new LX-90 scope and my new Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera.  My technique needs work, but it is an acceptable image.

Location: Summit, Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 58 sec, f/3.6, 17mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, Focal Reducer, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: un-retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg. Resized for web page display.

2002.10.16
10:31pm

Double Cluster, NGC 869 and NGC 884, although I think only NGC884 is in the photo. (??)

This is my one of my first attempts at deep space astro photography using my new LX-90 scope and my new Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera.  My technique needs work, but it is an acceptable  image.

Location: Summit, Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 32 sec, f/3.8, 20mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, Focal Reducer, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: un-retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg. Resized for web page display.

2002.10.16
10:55pm

Ring Nebula, M57, 9th magnitude

This is my one of my first attempts at deep space astro photography using my new LX-90 scope and my new Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera.  My technique needs work, but it is an acceptable  image.

Location: Summit, Victoria

 

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 58 sec, f/3.6, 18mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/6.3, Focal Reducer, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: un-retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg. Resized for web page display.

2002.10.16
11:09pm
Ring Nebula, M57, 9th magnitude

This is my one of my first attempts at deep space astro photography using my new LX-90 scope and my new Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera.  My technique needs work, but it is an acceptable image.

Location: Summit, Victoria

 

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500, 58 sec, f/3.6, 18mm, ISO 400, Noise Reduction ON

Scope: LX-90 8" SCT, f/10, a-focal, 26mm eyepiece

Image Processing: un-retouched, cropped image of original 2272x1704 jpg. Resized for web page display.

2002.09.18 10:10pm Moon - Only 3 days away from a full moon (Day 12).  The great crater of Tyco with white, spoke-like rays is obvious in the lower right of the sphere.

This was my first opportunity to try out the DigiSnap 2000 electronic shutter release.  The focus is noticably sharper, as compared with the image below, mainly due to not having to touch the scope to trip the camera shutter.

Location: Summit, Victoria

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4500 1/37 sec f/4.9 30mm,  ISO 100. Auto Exposure -1.0EV.

Scope: A-focal through a 9mm eyepiece on the ETX-60 60mm refractor.

Image Processing: 2272x1520 image cropped and re-sampled to 794x506 pixels. Converted to 16 bit gray scale, sharpened and equalized.

2002.08.26 10:59pm Moon - The waning gibbous moon (day 19), low in the eastern sky.

This was my first opportunity to try out my new Scopetronix Digi-T adapter, which now allows me to use my Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera "afocal" with my ETX-60 telescope.  Next time out I'll work on achieving better focus, but this isn't a bad first try.

Location: Summit, Victoria

Camera: 1/6 sec f4 20mm - Nikon Coolpix 950 at ISO 80 800x600

Scope: A-focal through a 9mm eyepiece on the ETX-60 60mm refractor.

Image Processing: sharpened and equalized, and the amber hue enhanced a bit.

2002.08.10 9:39pm

Venus

Venus is super bright in the western sky, and is accompanied with another crescent moon.

Location: Peacock Hill, top of Tolmie Ave, Victoria

Camera: 1 sec f3.8 18mm - Nikon Coolpix 950 at ISO 100 800x470
2002.06.11 10:21pm

Venus-Moon-Jupiter

Looking WNW.  Venus is super bright and Jupiter is dim (beside the Crescent Moon).  The moon is only at day 2 of its cycle.

Location: Peacock Hill, top of Tolmie Ave, Victoria

Camera: 1/2 sec f4 20mm - Nikon Coolpix 950 at ISO100, 1191x1061
2002-05-15
10:10pm

Jupiter-Moon-Saturn-Mars alignment

(Mercury is below the horizon), looking WNW.  Capella is the bright star at a perpendicular from Saturn off the line of planets ...but what is that crescent shape between Saturn and Capella??  The streak in the sky (lower left) is just an aircraft con trail, not a comet!

Location: Peacock Hill, top of Tolmie Ave, Victoria

Camera: 5 sec f/2.4 50mm, Minolta XD-11 SLR, Fuji Superia X-TRA ISO 400 35mm film scanned at 1000 dpi
[Microtek 35t+ film scanner]
2002-05-15
10:10pm
Jupiter-Moon-Saturn-Mars alignment

(Mercury is below the horizon), looking WNW.  Capella is the bright star at a perpendicular from Saturn off the line of planets.

Thanks to David Lee, President of the local RASC Victoria Chapter for solving the mystery.  The crescent shape was an image of the moon in a wrong location, caused by an internal lens reflection of the overexposed moon.  For this image, I cut and pasted the reflected image on top of the flared image, producing a more pleasing rendition of the planetary alignment.

Location: Peacock Hill, top of Tolmie Ave, Victoria

Camera: 5 sec f/2.4 50mm, Minolta XD-11 SLR, Fuji Superia X-TRA ISO 400 35mm film scanned at 1000 dpi
[Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED film scanner]

1996-09-15

A lunar eclipse

There are a series of 5 frames, showing the eclipse all the way from the red ball stage (mostly obscured), through to 75% emergence.

Location: 3046 Jackson St, Victoria

Camera: 35mm Fujichrome 100, Minolta XD-11 SLR,  200mm telephoto.  A range of exposure times were used, depending on the stage of the eclipse.
Take the time to adjust your monitor before viewing my online photos, and you will see them at their best.

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Revised: January 06, 2014

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