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Posts Made By: Enrico Africa

September 23, 2003 10:49 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Ignoring Mars

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

Thought I'd share an image I took last weekend. That was my third CCD session ever, and first (CCD) light for my Tak FS-102 on an EM200 mount.

This is M27, 5 x 1 minute, 5 x 30 sec subexposures added in CCDSoft. I have not played a whole lot with post-processing yet; the few attempts did not really improve this a whole lot (I'm sure it could). Images were not guided (the mount was not perfectly balanced, and I was losing an image or two from shakes).

Thanks for any input.

November 10, 2003 07:25 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Moon at/near totality

Posted By Enrico Africa


Just thought I'd share a picture taken at or near totality from last Saturday's eclipse (southwest Ohio). The clouds toyed with me all day, then almost miraculously cleared for the entire event!

2 or 3 second exposure through an Olympus C-3040Z @ ASA 200, attached afocally to a Borg 76ED via a Scopetronix adapter using a 26mm Meade Plossl.


January 1, 2004 03:37 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

New Year's Eve Saturn

Posted By Enrico Africa

Spent my New Year's eve capturing Saturn at opposition. What better way to ring in the New Year, eh? Not as grand as some of the images posted here, but it's my first attempt at video capture of this planet. I'm open to suggestions.

8" LX200 classic
Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow
Sac-IV ccd
video captured using the video capture software that came with the camera
Frames stacked in Registax and tweaked in Photoshop


February 23, 2004 01:54 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

1-hour M81 and M82

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

Thought I'd share some of my deeper images. Both M81 and M82 are 1-hour exposures (6 x 10-minute exposures). Taken with a Tak FS102 on an EM200; camera is an ST-7E (hope to add that info to my web page - it's kinda new). No filters were used (don't have any yet - waiting on an IDAS LPS), and no flats taken (just dark subtraction). Blooms were removed using the bloom removal tool in CCDOPS (makes the bloomed stars around M82 look double-lobed). Both images deconvoluted using CCDOPS' DDP filter.

Comments and feedback appreciated.

Main Web page:

March 12, 2004 02:13 PM Forum: Takahashi

FS-102II Pictures

Posted By Enrico Africa

Pictures are on-line of the shorter FS-102II! It's shown side-by-side with the FSQ-106 as reference.


April 4, 2004 05:08 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

New Images

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

I finally got some new images from late February through March up on my web page. I've also started adding some documentation behind a few of my images:

Enjoy! Feedback appreciated.

May 4, 2004 01:27 PM Forum: Takahashi

Re: Reticle Illuminator

Posted By Enrico Africa

IMHO, it's worth getting an illuminator, Tak or not (FYI, illuminators for reticle eyepieces = at least the ones for Meade - will fit the Tak finder).

The finder cross-hairs are very fine, and do tend to disappear into the sky background.


May 30, 2004 09:32 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

My C8 Project, Part I

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

The weather has not been very cooperative lately in my part of the world, so I have not been able to take too many new images. What I have been doing with the nights having the moon out is to work on a "project scope", a C8 that I got here at Amart that was out of collimation.

I thought I'd share with you the progress I've made so far. Not the best, but it does show signs of promise.

Camera used was a SAC-IV
Telescope @f/20 (Celestron Ultima Barlow)
AVI processed in Registax. About 50 or so images stacked.


June 6, 2004 07:28 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System


Posted By Enrico Africa


I finally got a chance to gather some RGB data for M51 last night before I lose it for the year. This was taken at a friend's dark sky site.

Takahashi FS102 @f/8 on a Takahashi EM200 mount.

L = 2x10 minutes, Binned 1x1
R = 2x10 minutes, Binned 2x2
G = 2x10 minutes, Binned 2x2
B = 3x10 minutes, Binned 2x2

All images summed, hot and cold pixels removed in CCDSoft. Slight sharpening done in Photoshop. This is just a first pass, I hope to refine the combining and fix the star colors in the future. For now, I'm happy with just the way the galaxy turned out.

I hope to someday merge this with the 90 minutes of luminance I took last February.

Thanks for looking,

June 15, 2004 09:09 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Processing options

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

I'm wondering about what are the best processing options for CCD images. I currently have CCDSoft, CCDOps and access to Photoshop. Using the DDP mode available in CCDOps, my images look esthetically pleasing (except for the halos around bright stars, which can be cleaned up later). I've also used Unsharp Mask and L-R deconvolution in CCDSoft on some of my images.

Anyway, I've noticed a recurring theme in feedback of images I've posted to date: I'm clipping data in whatever it is that I'm doing.

My question is, what is the best workflow/technique for processing images?

I am currently experimenting with my recent M51 image, for instance. The DDP'd luminance looks good, with clipped data. I have a version that is brighter with the arm details sharper with L-R deconvolution. I am experimenting with a hybrid image, where I have the arm details from the L-R version and the core details from the DDP'd version. I am trying some Gaussian blurs and selective level adjustments to the faint outer arm "clouds". I'm seeing improvements over the original image.

Is the above example of what I am doing with that image a good start? I can post sample pix later.

Thanks for any input on this.