Posts

A lucky single. M42 The Great nebula in Orion, and a little running man.

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The merits of low gain super long exposure astrophotography.
   I recently hosted a discussion about camera gain vs. exposure length with the intention being to help decide which way worked better. One thing led to another and I ended up doing a conclusive study of gain vs. exposure times, where I actually took long exposure shots at varying lengths and gains and during which I was thoroughly convinced that lower gains worked better. The math on noise reduction via stacking doesn't add up with my particular camera, and indeed many cmos cameras should probably give this a try. The hardest part of course, and the case I originally made in that post, is that getting super long exposures is really tough and that you lose gobs of time when things go wrong, which they very often do. To get them, lots of stuff has to line up just right.    First you have to have a bunch of dark time handy, which can be tough if you work days. The next is good conditions. Some areas seem to get all the go…

Sunrise Season

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Most of my Sunrises, including this one from a couple years ago, happen during my morning commute. I changed my start time and route a while back but I've yet to capitalize on the sunrise opportunities it affords. I also spend more time driving in pre-dawn darkness dodging sleepy deer.
  To get a good one in these mountains you really have to have your head on a swivel, be driving the right spot at just the right time and have a good place to stop and set up and be willing to keep up with your equipment while at work. It won't live long in a hot car.


A little Jupiter

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I've fallen behind on this blog due to weather, a broken filter wheel, life in general, etc. yada yada. Here's a photo of Jupiter from last year just to fill the void for a bit.
The image isn't very big due to the limitations of camera and telescope at the time it was taken. One reason I've not tried again is the tall trees in the way of all southern objects at my house. I'm planning to remove some to build an observatory...er...I mean start a garden, and will try again eventually. The GRS doesn't seem so big these days does it? It was about 3 earths across just a few years ago, and has been shrinking. My wild speculation is that comet Shoemaker/Levy poked a hole in it... lol

Lunar eclipse fun

January 21 lunar eclipse. I had a bit of trouble getting things going again when I switched away from bulb mode back to short exposures and did a meridian flip(lessons learned) so the 3rd bit goes fast. The purple haze and clouds at the start are due to the fire I had to have running in the serious cold snap we were in with sub zero wind chills. The fuzzy edges are instability partly from horrid seeing and occasionally heat from the stove. Eventually the wind shifted and everything settled down to watch the eclipse enter totality, where it stayed for nearly an hour. Frames during that time were 15 and then 30 seconds toward the end of totality where I think the best shots are. I plan to grab one from that stack and share it in full resolution.

Alnitak and friends

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Alnitak, and friends including Flame and Horsehead Nebulas.
ONE 600 second long exposure - the new mount is really something!

Pentax K5/UHC filter
600 second single image
ISO 100
Mount: SW eq6-r
guiding: converted TPO finder-guidescope/asi120c-s
Control system: Kstars/Ekos/indi in Linux Peppermint 9
TPO os6in newtonian/GSO coma corrector
Processed with Siril and RawTherapee

M45 Pleiades

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M45, Pleiades cluster | Pentax K5(tethered) | TPO os6in 150mm f4 imaging newtonian
SW coma corrector | SW Eq6-r pro | Starguy 2" UHC | 4x 180s @iso100
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Doesn't get any more cliché than this does it? The horses belong to the Lazy H ranch which is on my commute and so acts as a backdrop or foreground to many sunset photos.