Last night was a special opportunity to image the comet that is gracing our skies at the moment. This image took a whole lot of effort to process and one heck of a steep learning curve to get it all together. The coloured lines are stars and show the relative movement of the comet against the background star field. The colours are because I shot the image with my CCD camera using the LRGB filters. The total time for the image is 58mins 30secs.
The last week or so has been great for solar imaging with plenty of sunny days and a nice and active sun. This sun picture is from the 4 Jan. the next one is from the 6 Jan. I probably over processed this one a bit. As part of the imaging run that day I put in a 3 x Barlow lens into the PST and shot this groups of sunspots. The final image in the solar run was yesterday, 10 Jan. This image was made from 9 separate images of about 800 frames each. It took a lot of processing.
It’s been a smorgasbord of solar and moon imaging lately. The best of the bunch as far the moon went was this image of Pythagoras. The image is two frames made up of about 600 of the best frames from videos of about 1000. My ancient computer is having issues with processing an avi greater than about 1400 frames. I used a QHY5 for the imaging camera and used the FireCapture software for the first time – which works perfectly with the QHY5.
A pretty ordinary image of Barnard’s Galaxy, NGC6822. The image was taken with a QSI680wsg camera. This galaxy is about 1.6 million light years away. The galaxy is very faint and only visible in the eyepiece through averted vision. I did a few test images at 5mins and 10mins and still the galaxy was hardly visible. At 15mins it was enough to get something on the screen. So I ended up taking 4 images at 15mins each of LRGB and combined them in DSS and PixInsight to get the final colour image. If it’s ever not cloudy again I’ll get some more data.
Last night was a very cold summer’s night but excellent for astronomy so I took the opportunity to image M78. This is my second real go at RGB imaging so I’m getting a bit better at the processing. This image could have done with quite a bit more data. All up its red 25, green 25, blue 20 and luminance 25. Each exposure was 5mins long, the total exposure is 1hr 35mins. There was a reasonable earthquake last week so I had to spend quite a bit of time realigning the telescope, it was surprising how much out it was from the jolt.
I finally got my new camera out for another test run and figured out the processing. The result is this M42. The processing was rather tricky but I’ve now got the hang of processing LRGB images. The exposure was 5mins of RGB and 10mins of luminance. The guiding was a bit rubbish so there’s a fair bit more work needed to get that finally sorted. I might to need to also look at getting a spacer to get the right distance between the MPCC and the sensor.
It’s has been quite a while since I’ve done any imaging of the moon. It was a bit of a steep learning curve to try and remember how to set everything up and remember what software I used to capture lunar images. So for the images I took last night I used Sharpcap for the capturing, Registax for stacking and aligning and finally PixInsight for the post processing. For the post processing I used the deconvolution routine with 250 iterations at a size of 0.70. Then I used the atrousewaveform tool at a bias of 0.3 on the first image scale. The images are of the crater Archimedes, the crater Albategnius and finally the three craters Walther, Regiomontanus and Purbach. They’re all a bit poorly focused but I have fixed my motor focuser so if the weather is good tonight I should be able to improve the images.