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Thursday, July 24th, 2008
Not a spectacular night tonight as there was a high haze again. The stars are out, but there is a general sky glow between the haze and the quarter moon that hasn't risen yet that is masking some of the fainter stars.  Visual limiting magnitude was likely 4. Even still I wanted to try out my new Canon 20D.

So my experiment tonight was to have both cameras set up (the 350D and the 20D) - both plugged into the laptop - one taking pictures through the scope, the other taking wide field shots.

The experiment was successful, but a bit painful as it takes a very long time to get the files off of the 20D. Id say at least a minute per frame. So 15 minutes worth of shooting 30 second shots (30 frames) at an extra minute per frame resulted in 45 minutes to take a one15 minute shot. There are a few factors in play that may increase the download time. I'll experiment to see if I can improve that.

But it was cool taking a wide field shot while taking a DSO shot.

Wide Field M31
Once again I have a wide field shot of M31 that is not what I was hoping. I think if I take a longer shot it may improve - but I likely need over an hour. I've ordered a DSUSB for bulb control, but until it comes in I'm stuck at 30 second exposures.

Scope: Quantaray 70-300mm Zoom Lens @ 70mm f/4
Mount: Orion Min-EQ
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Camera: Canon EOS 20D (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 15 minutes - 30 @ 30 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image

Double Cluster
Another picture of the Double Cluster. I have a few, but I love this cluster group and I get a better shot of it each time.

Scope: William Optics MegRez 90mm @ f/5.5 w/WO-FLAT-III 0.8x Focal Reducer
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 1 hour - 20 @ 180 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image

Lunar Shot - Copernicus
I decided to attempt a double Barlowed shot through the apo. Again, an experiment, and I don't think I'll do it too much more, but it was interesting trying the shot. I think I'd be better off getting a web cam and doing the Registax AVI stacking. Even still, the shot's not bad.

Scope: William Optics MegRez 90mm @ f/5.5 w/WO-FLAT-III 0.8x Focal Reducer and 4x Barlow
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 250 ms
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image


Image Gallery For This Session
1 M31 WideField 15m 2 Double Cluster 1h
3 Copernicus
   

1-M31-WideField-15m.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
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Comments:
On 07/26/08 at 12:49pm Barry wrote:
I love the wide field shots. M31 is indeed a difficult wide-field target. I have tried a series of 15 second exposures stacked in Deep Sky stacker.....with dismal results. I am sure you are right...more time would would bring out the fainter detail. Still, it's a nice shot.

Hey, your moon shot isn't half bad. A little bit of sharpening.......although it does look natural and non-noisy. It's a great non-stacked image considering the mediocre seeing lately. If you took this same shot in the winter, with the moon high overhead, it would be killer.



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