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Friday, July 1st, 2011
ITS In June... well, technically July.
 
We had a great little star party with Richard, Leggo, Greg, Ken, Brian, Steve, and a few others.
 
It was fairly typical for how close to the Summer Solstice we were out there. Only 9 days past the solstice. The sky was dark for probably 3 hours if we were lucky. And dark is relative. It's much darker out there when the sun is further below the horizon. Right around the solstice the sky's pretty bright all night long.
 
Even still, it was great. We had 2 clear cloudless nights and I had a great time.
 
This was the first star party *ever* that I didn't bring my observing gear. I only brought the imaging gear and it was strange. Now, I certainly didn't go without observing. I camped right next to Scott Legg and shared the great views in his most excellent 18" ATM Dob.
 
The observing was great considering the brightness of the sky.
 
The imaging session was mostly fun. I'm still struggling with the Canon EF 70-300 USM IS zoom lens. Something is not right with it and it's having trouble. I'll probably replace it for astro use as it seems fine for daylight shots. For tonight I used an aftermarket 105mm Nikon knock-off lens. A Kiron (I think). It worked "okay" at best. A new lens is in the future for me... sooner then later
 
The gallery of images for this session:
 
The Pipe Nebula
Scope: Kiron 20-105mm f/3.5-5.0 @ 105mm and f/6.3
Mount: Celestron CG-5 ASGT
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Modified 8x50 Finder
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Stock/Unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1 hour 30 minutes (18 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Calibration and Stacking in Images Plus, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop
Support Files: 20 darks
 
 
The Snake Nebula
Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 4 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1 hour 30 minutes (18 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Calibration and Stacking in Images Plus, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop
Support Files: 40 flats, 40 bias, 60 darks
 
 
Witches Broom
Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 4 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 3 hours RGB (36 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Calibration and Stacking in Images Plus, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop
Support Files: 40 flats, 40 bias, 60 darks
 
 
Double Cluster
Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 4 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 30 minutes (15 x 120s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Calibration and Stacking in Images Plus, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop
Support Files: 40 flats, 40 bias, 20 darks
 
 
Trifid Nebula
Scope: Vixen ED103S with WO Flat 4 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 1000D (Modified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1 hour 30 minutes (18 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Calibration and Stacking in Images Plus, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop
Support Files: 40 flats, 40 bias, 60 darks
 
 


Image Gallery For This Session
01 Pipe Nebula 1h 30m 02 Snake Nebula 1h 30m
03 Witches Broom 3h 04 Double Cluster 30m
05 M20 1h 30m
   

01-Pipe-Nebula-1h-30m.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
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Comments:
On 08/11/11 at 06:39am West wrote:
I was very excited to see that you had posted a journal entry. Your imaging is ALWAYS impressive and honestly gives me goals to set.... Well played, Neil.



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