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Monday, June 7th, 2010
The night finally cleared and it was actually clear too. We're leaving in a few days for a star party and I wanted at least one night prior to do some setup changes and testing The only changes I was making is that I plan on imaging through the ZenithStar 66 this weekend, but I wanted to get that all setup and squared away. Info on the night:
Temp: 55F
Seeing: 7/10
Transparency: 7/10
Lunar Phase: Waxing Crescent, 18% Illuminated
Location: Vancouver, WA
Bortle Scale: 5

Observing With Friends
As a bonus, Caleb Pugh came over. It's always nice to share the night with someone who is also fascinated with astronomy. I showed him how the imaging system worked and set up the 16" Dob to have some views for a few hours through that.

Caleb is a natural. Although he's never done this before, I was telling him where something was and he was finding the targets with no problem. He found M53, and M57 by himself (well, after some direction). Poking around the sky he stumbled onto the Virgo Cluster and found a handful of galaxies there. Nice job Caleb!

Together we looked at Open clusters, Globular Clusters, Local Group galaxies, distant galaxies, planetary nebulae, reflection nebulae and emission nebulae. This is such a great time of year for observing! There is so much out there right now.

The Imaging Session
The imaging session was more of a test session to get things in order for the star party this weekend. But, while I was at it, I thought I'd pop in the Ha filter and shoot IC 1318.

It's interesting how much contrast in the dust lanes gets lost when you add the color in. I like the color shot, but the B&W shot has more detail.

IC 1318
It's been since December that I shot with the Ha filter and I want to get more HaRGB processing practice in. The stars are so radically different between the One Shot Color RGB images and the narrowband images. It's tricky to not get odd halos around the stars when combining the shots. This picture is no exception. The massiveness of the nebula and the interesting dust lanes dominate the image, but it doesn't take a very close inspection to see the odd halos. Even still, I'm thrilled with the shot. it's by far the best of this nebula I've ever taken. I shot this at the Oregon Star Party with an unmodded 350D in 2008. IC1318 from OSP. 

Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD with WO Flat 2 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding:  Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Vixen ED103S
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: Ha - 3 hours (9 x 1200s) / OSC RGB - 30 minutes (6 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with high dithering, Stacked and DDP in Images Plus, Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools, Gradient XTerminator and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: 40 flats, 40 bias, one dark used as a bad pixel map
See Gallery below for image



Image Gallery For This Session
02 IC1318 HaRGB 3h30m 03 IC1318 HaRGB 3h30m NoStars
04 IC1318 Ha 3h
   

02-IC1318-HaRGB-3h30m.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 06/21/10 at 01:59am Neil Heacock wrote:
Thanks guys. I appreciate all the great comments.

-Neil

On 06/13/10 at 12:42pm Miquel wrote:
Wow! I love the structure details.

On 06/12/10 at 08:22am Jules Vieira. wrote:
The C.C.D. Halpha.R.G.B. image of IC1318 is "Exquisite" with its Red Cascading shades of Red and dark Matter cutting like a carpet through the center of its outer Red Contours and Sprinkled Cyan Blue , White and some Yellow G Stars. But Hydrogen-Alpha already has the Red Emission component lines of Emission in Emission-& Reflection Nebulae. See what your results are if you use H-alpha.Green.Blue filters and take out the Red filter and let the H-alpha filter do the red component of this and other Emission Nebula, It just might result in more Natural Reds than Saturated Reds, give it a try , nothing is lost in trying Sir Astro-Photographer.
Sign:
Astro-Photographer of ASTRONOMY Magazine December 1982 on "A Years Harvest of Pictures"!

Jules M. Vieira...

On 06/08/10 at 10:30pm Jim McPherson wrote:
Amazing picture. One day I'll have the ncessary equipment....



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