Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category


Posted by Paul On July - 2 - 2018

This page details images that I've made with my new astrophotography camera, the ZWO ASI294MC PRO.  

The Sony IMX294CJK is the first internal imaging sensor for astronomical cameras to support the Type 4/3 format, producing the pixel output necessary for 4K at 120 frame/s (in ADC 10-bit output mode, the ASI294MC can run up to 25 fps at 4K format base on USB3.0 bandwidth). Additionally, the ASI294MC Pro uses large pixels to achieve SNR1s of 0.14 1x* which is comparable to the ASI224's (0.13 1x*) value.

This camera can cool the sensor up to 35 Deg C below ambient, and is much much more sensitive and noise free than my Canon 60da DSLR.


6/1/2018 My latest image tonight is Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode’s Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to it’s proximity to Earth, large size, and active galactic nucleus (which harbors a supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers. The galaxy’s large size and relatively high brightness also make it a popular target for amateur astronomers. (Wikipedia)

This image was made using my new astrophotography camera and is composed of 29×60 second images. This camera is much more sensitive and the sensor tonight was cooled to 32 degrees F.  I still have a lot to learn about using this camera and Astro Photography Tool software.  These images were made with a camera gain set to 200 then the best 75% were stacked in DSS (Deep Space Stacker) along with 10 dark frames.  I didn't use flat or bias frames.

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7/24/18 Last night I imaged NGC 6888. This image is composed of 297 x 15 second which yields 74 minutes of data. I processed it in DSS and Photo Shop.

From NASA: NGC 6888, also known as the Crescent Nebula, is a cosmic bubble about 25 light-years across, blown by winds from its central, bright, massive star. NGC 6888's central star is classified as a Wolf-Rayet star(WR 136). The star is shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of the Sun's mass every 10,000 years. The nebula's complex structures are likely the result of this strong wind interacting with material ejected in an earlier phase. Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of its stellar life this star should ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacular supernova explosion. Found in the nebula rich constellation Cygnus, NGC 6888 is about 5,000 light-years away.


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Solar Eclipse

Posted by Paul On August - 21 - 2017


Here are some of the photos I took today of the solar eclipse; since I stayed home in Provo I was only able to record a 90% coverage of the sun.  Still it was very cool.  When the sun was 90% covered the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees and it was really pleasant outside.  The photos were taken with my Celestron 11 inch Schmidt Cassigrain telescope with a focal reducer attached.  The focal reducer caused the images to be clipped – that's why I wasn't able to record full pictures of the Sun.  The camera I used was a Canon 60Da camera modified for astrophotography.  The pictures were taken at an ISO of 200, exposure of 1/200 second.  I didn't order a sun filter ahead of time for the telescope, so I made one using 2 layers of a space blanket which worked ok.  It may have caused some degradation of picture sharpness however.

SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+102f_20170821-10h05m24s646ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+100f_20170821-10h22m09s592ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+97f_20170821-10h24m24s067ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+113f_20170821-10h30m35s348ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+120f_20170821-10h45m18s887ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+138f_20170821-10h57m28s183ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+129f_20170821-11h07m58s564ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+135f_20170821-11h15m18s160ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+124f_20170821-11h33m59s615ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+113f_20170821-11h39m07s933ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+120f_20170821-11h45m29s447ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+122f_20170821-12h01m19s227ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+120f_20170821-12h17m00s470ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+109f_20170821-12h34m18s514ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+131f_20170821-12h47m42s867ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+136f_20170821-12h56m16s743ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+126f_20170821-12h59m46s559ms SUN_LIGHT_Tv12000s_200iso_+120f_20170821-13h00m49s228ms 


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Color Reference Charts

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