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Posts Made By: Ron Wodaski

September 27, 2002 01:18 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Veil Nebula in Ha and OIII light

Posted By Ron Wodaski

Here is a quick processing of the data for the portion of the Veil I've been imaging the last two nights. I collected 3x20 minutes in H-alpha last night, and 3x20 minutes in OIII and H-beta tonight. While the H-beta was downloading, I did a quick average and combine of the Ha and OIII data, and color combined them using Ha-OIII-OIII (what I call AOO) for color. That's what I've posted here in a reduced-size version. The full size version is also worth a look:

http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/images/new/FCT150/Veil_AOO2b.jpg

I'm pretty darn happy with the result. I don't have flats yet (and really need them; I'm imaging into the really crappy western sky that is limiting visual mag 2.5!), so this will only get better. The above is a deliberately restrained version with respect to contrast; I like the feathery look. I also did a version that is more typical of what you see, that shows more detail but lacks the semi-transparent appearance:

http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/images/new/FCT150/Veil_AOO_test.jpg

What's making me the happiest is that I can finally image to my west. Using luminance and RGB filter, the west was just horrid because of the severe light pollution (I'm imaging right over Bellevue, WA, a large city with skyscrapers and all the trimmings). Narrow band really does cut through the light pollution effectively. With these long total exposures, there is some bleed-through, but it's mild and I expect flats to handle it. Even just doing gradient removal in Photoshop, the results are quite good.

Takahashi FCT-150, Finger Lakes CM-10E, Paramount ME, Custom Scientific 3nm filters.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

October 6, 2002 12:08 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Deep image of the Cocoon Nebula

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I took a 50-minute RGB image (50:50:80 minutes in RGB) of the Cocoon just the other night at New Mexico Skies. I have been trying to get a good color picture that would reveal the structure of the various layers of nebulosity that are present in this area. By chance, one of my fellow imagers walked in a moment ago and helped me understand what is going on in this image.

First, he suggests that this is a "Stromgren" sphere (spelling uncertain). That is a sphere of Hydrogen gas that is ionized by a central star, emitting deep red (H-alpha). Outside the sphere, the radiation from the star isn't bright enough to ionize the Hydrogen, so it glows with light reflected from the star. In this image, you can see the deep red of the ionized hydrogen, and a faint white glow around this (with a slight blue cast) that is reflected light.

Second, the dust lane that extends outward from the Cocoon is dark but also bright enough to be imaged. The dust is a deep rust-red color. An analysis of the individual R, G, and B images shows that there is a thick cloud of dust at lower right (perhaps a Bok Globule?), a lane of dust that is thinner and shows some stars through it, and a light haze of red dust generally over the lower half of the image.

My goal is always to use color to reveal structure in an image, and this example is one that really does that well. This a roughly half-size version of the image. I am on the road, and I cannot post a full-size version to my web site until I return home.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

October 10, 2002 01:34 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Sculptor Galaxy imaged with ST-1001E and C14

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I got in a second night of imaging while I was at New Mexico Skies. This image of Sculptor Galaxy (NGC253) was taken with Mike Rice's C14/ST-1001E riding on a Paramount ME. Exposure: 24 minutes total (8x3minutes). Deconvolution in Astroart, Histogram processing in Photoshop. Sure wish I had been able to get some color! I'll have to grab that one of these times when I am far enough south to image this gorgeous galaxy.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

October 25, 2002 01:29 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Bubble Nebula with C8 and Optec f/5 Widefield

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I have had many of the components used for this image sitting around for almost 6 months, so I figured it was time to put everything together and give it a try:

C8
Optec IFW filter wheel with 2" LRGB filters;
TCF-S motorized focuser
Hutech LPS light-pollution suppression filter
Optec F/5 Widefield reducer
ST-8E ABG camera

Unfortunately, the seeing was awful, the moon was just past full, and the air was extremely wet and bright. Still, the image turned out better than I would have expected. I'll bet that the long exposures times are what saved the image.

LRGB, exposure times 5 x 600sec L; 3 x 600sec R and G; 1 x 900sec B. (Ran out of clear sky by the time I got to the blue.)

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com


October 25, 2002 01:41 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Crescent Nebula in Ha and OIII

Posted By Ron Wodaski

This image of the Crescent Nebula combines light emitted in H-alpha (red) and Oxygen III (blue/green). It reveals details in the Crescent that are very hard to see, if not invisible, in white-light and RGB images. I was surprised to find such large, bright structural details that I had never seen before.

Imaged with FCT-150, CM-10E camera on Paramount ME. Filters are from Custom Scientific. I can't find my notes on total exposure time, bit typically it would be on the order of about two hours per filter. This particular version has been stretched hard to bring out faint details.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

November 3, 2002 03:50 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Horsehead with C14

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I am testing an incredible camera this weekend (just have it for three days), and I took this color image of the Horsehead and NGC 2023. This is a reduced-size image; the original is 2048x2048. The camera is a Finger Lakes IMG 4240, with 13.5-micron pixels. It's a nice high-res, large-chip camera to use with the C14, that's for sure!

To see a half-size version:
http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/test/fli/HH_LRGB2.jpg

Full-size version:
http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/test/fli/HH_LRGB.jpg

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

November 4, 2002 09:12 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Flame Nebula - C14 and IMG42-40

Posted By Ron Wodaski

This imag of the flame was taken with the C14 and the IMG42-40 (2048x2048, 13.5-micron pixels). That is probably the last night I'll have the camera here for imaging; it's set to go back today. It was three days of heaven!

Details: C14 at f/11, IMG42-40, Paramount ME, Hutech LPS filter (taken in heavy light pollution, under a streetlight), Optec IFW filter wheel, TCF-S focuser. A median combine of eleven 5-minute images.

This is a 40% size image. To see a 1280x1280 version:
http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/images/C14/Flame2.jpg

Full-size (2048x2048), original data:
http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/images/C14/Flame.jpg

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

November 12, 2002 05:08 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M81 with C14

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I had some time today to do a preliminary processing on an M81 image I took under light-polluted conditions in my front yard. Equipment was the new C14, a Finger Lakes IMG 42-40 camera (2048x2048, 13.5-micron pixels), Paramount ME. 25 5-minute images binned 2x2 in luminance, color added with FCT-150 and CM-10ME camera.

With a total of 125 minutes of exposure, the result overcomes the limitations of light pollution in many respects. The worst problem I had to deal with was the lack of a flat field - I only had the camera three days and never got a flat to cover this filter combination. With light pollution, good flats are essential. I did some quick adjustments manually in Photoshop, but the image really deserves a more careful manual flatting for optimal results. That will have to wait until I have the time!

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

November 13, 2002 08:39 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Flame Nebula

Posted By Ron Wodaski

Here is another image from the weekend with the Finger Lakes IMG-4042 camera. This image is 60% of the full-size image. I didn't get enough images to go as deep as I would have liked, but it's still an interesting image.

I'm amazed at how tiny the stars are compared to my other images. This was a median combine of an unknown number of 5 minute images. I took a total of 11 5-minute images for luminance; the color is from an earlier wide-field shot with a CM-10ME camera. I applied a minimum filter to the stars in the color image to avoid color halos around the tiny stars in the C14 image.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com

November 28, 2002 11:18 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

NGC1977 with C14, ST-10E

Posted By Ron Wodaski

I recently acquired an SBIG ST-10E, and I've been testing it on my C14 using an Optec Widefield f/5 reducer. I have the usual light pollution to deal with, but this image of NGC1977 came out well.

To see what the image looked like before I fixed the light pollution and internal reflections, please see:

http://www.newastro.com/wodaski/images/C14/NGC1977_LP.jpg

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"
http://www.newastro.com