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11/30/-1
    
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Yay! Tonight was fantastic. Crystal clear all night long, 10 degrees so the cameras and gear were totally freezing. I was able to start right at nightfall and image right up til it was waaaay to late (5:30 pm til 4am). Over 10 hours and 3 gigs of shots. Tonight I took 6 pictures of 3 objects:
- California Nebula - Ha
- California Nebula - RGB
- Rosette Nebula - Ha
- Rosette Nebula - RGB
- M42 - Ha
- M42 - RGB

I haven't had a night this productive since the last star party.

With my new Scope Buggy I had another bonus... the Rosette and M42 are normally not where I can see them because they rise and set behind my trees. But the new buggy lets me wheel the gear to a spot in the back yard where I can see all of these and many more objects. Double Yay!

Here is the scoop on the images and the first somewhat rough processes:

The California Nebula NGC 1499 Image in HaRGB
This is a combined HaRGB shot with 1.5 hours of RGB data and 3 hours of Ha data. This was a bit of an experiment in that I wawnted to shoot much shorter ISO 400 shots to preserve star color. It kinda worked, but I think I processed some of the color out a little. I also kinda goofed up on this one in that I didn't orient the camera correctly to the previous Ha data I took. Perhaps I'll redo it with the proper orientation and try to get better star color - it's there... I saw it in the earlier stages of the processing.

Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD @ f/4.7 w/WO 0.8x Flat II Reducer
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Vixen R200SS 200mm
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (modified) w/Astronomik 12nm Ha Clip In Filter
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600 for Ha/ISO 400 for RGB
Exposure: Ha 3 hours - (9 x 1200s) & RGB 1 hour 30 minutes - (30 x 180s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with Extreme dithering, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker (Kappa-Sigma Median Clipping for all frames), Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools, Gradient XTerminator and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: 50 flats, 50 bias, 12 darks
See Gallery below for image



The Rosette Nebula IC 1848 Image in HaRGB
This has been a long time target I've wanted to shoot. I'm really excited about being able to get it decently. I should have just shot it for the rest of the night, but I wanted to move on to M42.

Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD @ f/4.7 w/WO 0.8x Flat II Reducer
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Vixen R200SS 200mm
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (modified) w/Astronomik 12nm Ha Clip In Filter
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: Ha 2 hours 20 minutes - (7 x 1200s) + 15 minutes RGB for stars and sky only
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with Extreme dithering, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker (Kappa-Sigma Median Clipping for all frames), Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools, Gradient XTerminator and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: 50 flats, 50 bias, 12 darks
See Gallery below for image



Image Gallery For This Session
01 Cali 4h 30m HaRGB 02 Rosette HaRGB 2h 35m
03 M42 HaRGB 1h 50m
   

01-Cali-4h-30m-HaRGB.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 12/17/09 at 01:45am Neil Heacock wrote:
Thanks Miquel. I knew I needed either a CCD or a modded DSLR and Ha fIlter to take me to the next level. For now I think I made the right choice going for the modded DSLR and filter.

-Neil

On 12/13/09 at 07:53pm Miquel wrote:
Amazing shots Neil! You are up to a total new level! :)



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