Join me on my journey through the cosmos. Here i'll post the images I take how I shot them and maybe some guides along the way. Clear Skies!
Saturday, December 18, 2021
NGC 7789 Caroline's Rose Cluster December 14th, 2021
NGC 2099 (Messier 37) December 13th, 2021
M38 November 24th, 2021
Monday, December 6, 2021
The Crab Nebula Messier 1 December 4th, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
The Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia 11-22-21
I had purchased the ASIAIR Plus back in September with an expected delivery sometime past November. It arrived this past week. So far I do like the ASIAIR but it does have some significant limitations to my current astrophotography sequence. First I can't use the guide camera that comes with the iOptron mount. I just received a new guide camera for this but I need a guide scope. Next it is not compatible with the Sony Camera. Therefore I must use the Canon 7D camera which is compatible. The polar alignment is also more difficult in my opinion as you have to wait for a new image to be taken and have it plate solve before you receive feedback. Using the iGuider camera you receive live feedback of the position in regards to the pole. However under clear dark skies you can polar align in less than five minutes. As I wasn't guiding the object over time began drifting out of the camera sensor and there were star trails on photos longer than 30 seconds. I eventually switched back to APT so that I did not lose a perfectly good night to tracking issues. With iPolar I confirmed that the polar alignment was close but certainly not perfect which could explain the drifting.
NGC 457, The owl Cluster an open cluster in constellation Cassiopeia. FOV is approximately 54' x 36'. This is twenty-eight 300 second guided subs taken from my backyard on November 23rd, 2021. A Canon EOS7D at iso 3200; iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127mm Mak-Cas f/12, FL 1500mm.
Messier 103 11-11-21
Thursday, November 25, 2021
NGC-7331 in Pegasus 11/22/21
Saturday, November 20, 2021
The Beaver Moon Eclipse and Pleiades 11-19-21
On October 19th in the early AM we were able to see one of the longest lunar eclipses in nearly 600 years in Central New York. The weather wasn't great as clouds rolled in and out through out the night. The clouds rolled in for good just as the moon was reaching peak eclipse at 4:01 AM. I used the iOptron CEM40G mount with the Sony A6600 mirrorless camera and an 18-135mm lens at about 115mm. My goal was to shoot the eclipse along with Pleiades in the frame. Below are the two photos of the moon at near total eclipse as well as a time lapse of the eclipse before the clouds covered it.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
The Milky Way Galaxy 9/10/21
The was one of my first images of the Milky Way Galaxy. The constellation Aquila is visible at the top half of the image. This is 570 six second exposures untracked taken at Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper, NY on September 10th, 2021. Using a Sony A6600 Mirrorless Camera.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Messier 56 November 11th, 2021
Messier 56 a globular cluster in the constellation Lyra. Taken on Novemer 11th, 2021 this is nine 300 second guided subs taken with a Sony A6600 mirrorless camera, an iOptron CEM40G mount. A 5" Celestron 127 Mak telescope
Friday, November 12, 2021
Clear Skies in Early November
The past week was great for Astronomy and Astrophotographers in the CNY area. Seven straight days of clear nights around the new moon. When was the last time that happened?
The first night out was Tuesday 11/2/2021. My plan that night was to shoot the Helix Nebula, however my camera a Sony A660 Mirrorless was not cooperating with Astrophotography Tool (APT). I could have certainly photographed the Helix nebula however as I discussed in the last post I have been using plate solving to center the image. The issue with the camera was that the orientation sensor which senses when the camera is vertical instead of horizontal was causing the images to be doubled and not display correctly in APT. This meant plate solving wasn't possible. Unfortunately I didn't realize this until I got home (I eventually found the true solution, and there is more on that below.) As a back up plan I photographed the Bubble Nebula (NGC-7635) in Cassiopeia. This is twenty nine 200 second guided subs taken at Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper, NY. Using a Sony A6600 camera on a iOptron CEM40G mount using a Celestron 127 Mak Telescope.
Saturday, October 30, 2021
The Andromeda Galaxy M31 October 27th 2021.
The Andromeda Galaxy M31. This is forty six 200 second subs and seven 300 second subs. Taken from my backyard in October 27th 2021. An iOptron CEM40G mount with a Sony A6600 Mirroless camera and an 18-135 lens taken at 135mm. I am still not completely pleased with this image considering the blue color on right side that does not match the left side. I may try this again at DHO when we have another clear moonless night.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
The nearly full moon October 19th 2021
It certainly wasn't an ideal night for Astrophotography. The moon was nearly full but it was clear skies. I had just received a new 4.5lb weight from iOptron. My plan for a while has been to shoot M31 the Andromeda Galaxy. While I had shot this before on the first night as I said I wasn’t pleased with it. It’s just too big at almost 3 degrees wide to fit in a 1500mm focal length telescope that sees just over 0.5 degrees. The plan was to use the kit lens that came with the camera at 135mm in order to shoot the Galaxy.
Unfortunately the moon truly was a star party pooper. It made things very difficult to see nighttime objects and ruined both images I shot. Both images had very large moon glow aberration on the images. I should have known better than to try shooting anywhere near the moon with a new very wide lens like that and no moon glow filter at all.
However even though it was a failure there was some success to be had. Firstly the concept worked. I was able to frame up the entire Andromeda Galaxy and you can clearly see both M32 and M110 in the image. I believe this will work excellently on a clear night.
The second success came in the form of learning how to plate solve with Astrophotography Tool. While I have had great success aligning the telescope and getting objects farmed up pretty well it hasn’t been perfect. This was most apparent with an attempt I made shooting the Helix nebula. In one set of photos the object was in the bottom of the frame while the other it was at the top. Plate solving solved that issue. Plate solving allowed me to take a short exposure and then solve that plate with a known sky catalog and then sync with the mount with that location and recenter the target perfectly in the center of the frame.
Now I imagine that some of you would consider this to be a form of cheating since I don’t have to actually know the night sky. I would say that this isn’t true at all. I have learned a great deal about the night sky, stars objects and constellations in a short time. I can locate constellation and really see where the object should be that I am trying to shoot. As an example of this a new member of the SAS joined, he brought his scope to the DHO to try for the first time. We were looking at a few deep sky objects such as M27, and M57, we switched to M31. His scope wasn't perfectly aligned and did not go to directly to it on that side of the meridian. I successfully located the object in the scope and he also asked where it was. I was able to direct him using the constellation of Pegasus and the stars in Andromeda to point to it's location. Three months ago on my second visit to DHO It was the director of the observatory pointing out the andromeda and I was completely lost. Plate solving saves the hassle of framing. If I want to take exposures over multiple nights it's important that they be shoot in the exact same spot so they stack without rotating or clipping the edges. Just being close isn't good enough. My very first attempt had the helix nebula either in the top of the frame or the bottom of the frame. That would not be sutible for stacking.
Monday, October 11, 2021
The Crab Nebula Messier 1
The is first object identified as part of a list of 109 objects created by Charles Messier. Messier was a comet hunter whose goal was to identify objects that could have been confused as comets. This list is still widely used today. Seven 300 second guided subs taken at the Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper, NY on October 1st, 2021, an iOptron CEM40G, Celestron 127SLT 5" Mak 1500mm f/12, and a Sony A6600 mirrorless camera
Friday, October 8, 2021
The Triangulum Galaxy 10-8-21
Messier 33, The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy 2.73 million light years from earth in the constellation Triangulum. Twenty-four 300 second guided subs taken at Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper, NY on October 8th and five 200 second subs taken from my backyard on October 7th, 2021. Using an iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127SLT Mak telescope f/12 FL 1500mm, Sony A6600 mirrorless camera, Astromania 2" Moon/Skyglow Filter.
Friday, October 1, 2021
The Fireworks Galaxy 10-1-21
NGC 6946 The Fireworks Galaxy is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus. FOV is approximately 54' x 36'. This is thirty-six 300 second guided subs taken from Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper, NY on October 1st, 2021. A Sony A6600 camera at ISO3200; iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127mm Mak-Cas f/12, FL 1500mm.
Friday, September 24, 2021
The Orion Nebula 9-24-21
I used an iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127Mak f/12 FL 1500mm and a Sony A6600 mirrorless camera.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
The Orion Nebula 9-19-21
I used an iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127Mak f/12 FL 1500mm and a Sony A6600 mirrorless camera.
The Andromeda Galaxy 9-19-2021
This is M31 also known as The Andromeda Galaxy. This is twenty-five 300 second guided subs taken from my backyard on September 19th, 2021. I used an iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127Mak f/12 FL 1500mm and a Sony A6600 mirrorless camera. As an added bonus M32 is also visible in the very top of the image. I plan to retake this image with a wider scope or lens. There is bad vignetting at the top of this image.
The Ring Nebula 9-19-2021
The Great Hercules Cluster 9-19-2021
This is M13 also known as the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. The image was taken from my backyard on September 19th, 2021. I used an iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127SLT Mak telescope and a Sony A6600 Mirrorless Camera.
Friday, September 17, 2021
The Moon September 17th, 2021
The Moon photographed from my backyard on September 17th, 2021. This is 75% of 105 frames using a Sony A6600 camera at ISO3200; iOptron CEM40G mount with a Celestron 127mm Mak-Cas f/12, FL 1500mm.