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Posts Made By: Chris Nisbet

September 21, 2009 12:37 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Abell 4 Plus Galaxy ID Help (or Challenge?)

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Continuing on the theme of imaging the small and obscure, here is a shot of the planetary nebula Abell 4 in Perseus. Not only is there the planetary nebula in this shot, but there are numerous background galaxies. I knew that there were 4 when imaging this object according to The Sky 6 (Pro edition). When I finished proecessing the final image, I could count at least 3 more background galaxies that weren't shown in The Sky 6. My question is, where would one consult to identify these other galaxies? These are obviously very faint and obscure and it would be fun to see just how faint this setup can image.

Details on this shot-20x4 min, 2x2 bin, ST-8XME, 1992 C11@ f/12, MI-250, AO-8, Pyxis. Processing in CCDSoft using Add combine. Abell 4 is 22" in diameter.

October 2, 2009 02:30 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Abell 79 PLN 102-2.1

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is a small planetary nebula in Lacerta known as Abell 79. It is small-only 1x1 arc minute across. I started out by imaging a 5 minute sub using the L filter and the image barely showed up. I then switched to the H-Alpha filter and voila! Much brighter image and more detail so I continued using this filter. Another in my collection of small, not very commonly imaged objects.

Taken with a C11 @ f/12, MI-250, ST-8XME, Astrodon H-Alpha, 2x2 binning, AO-8 @ 2.5 sec guide rate, 15x10min subs, processing in CCDSoft using Add combine and nearly a full moon!

November 14, 2009 11:06 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Abell 75 NGC 7076

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is another one of the obscure Abell planetaries. A google search would seem to indicate that not many images exist of this object. Nothing spectacular by any means but there is some satisfaction in capturing such small and obscure objects. I believe this is one of only two Abell's to have a NGC designation. Object is 67" in diameter with a magnitude of 14.5.

Seeing conditions were not that great. The autoguide exposure was set at .5 sec with the guide star bouncing all around. It was one of those situations where I had gone so long without imaging due to weather, I didn't care what the conditions were. It was a clear night! The AO unit did a pretty good job though. Taken with a C11 at f/12, 21x5 min at 2x2, ST8XME camera, AO-8, MI-250 and processed in CCDSoft only.

Cedar, MN

January 3, 2010 08:51 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC 1514 and Extreme Conditions?

Posted By Chris Nisbet

OK-its Minnesota and its cold. At 7pm local time yesterday, the temp is -23F at the observatory. In the "Old Days" there is no way I would even think of trying to get a film image with these conditions. But that was then.... Opened up the roof and turned on the equipment (MI-250 carrying a C11) somewhat reluctantly. As anyone who has experienced these temps knows, equipment makes funny sounds when it fires up and you don't know if that's normal under those conditions. Fan on the ST8 sounded louder than normal, slewing motors were definitely louder but no stalls or tracking issues. Proceeded to take the attached image of NGC 1514. Used an ST8-XME with an AO8 and the guide star exposure was only .1 of a second. Stars were bouncing all around but the AO8 still returned round stars so that works under those conditions. Only thing that didn't work like it should have was the Gemini unit when it first powered up-did a CMOS reset even though it was a fresh battery in November (I don't think batteries are supposed to be stored and used at these temps and still be reliable). Chip temp was -40C and the percent used was only 9%! Just for fun, I wanted to see how low I could get the temp so I dropped the chip temp to -78C and that was at 87% capacity.

Image processed only in CCDSoft using Add combine.

Going out tonight because its warm at +1F! Almost 25 degrees warmer than last night!

January 24, 2010 02:25 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Abell 13 PK 204-8.1

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is a shot of an apparently little imaged planetary nebula in Orion. It is listed as magnitude 15.3 with a diameter of 174". This was taken with a C11 at f11.5, MI-250 and a ST-8XME at -40C with an AO8, CFW-10 through an Astrodon 6nm H-Alpha filter. This object has a very bright guide star available through this setup so much so that the AO8 used an exposure of only .6 sec for the guide star even through the H-Alpha filter. The previous post referenced storms and clouds and I share in the sentiment (located in MN). Almost everytime I tried to complete an imaging run, clouds and/or fog seemed to set in and ruined exposures. In the end (much to my surprise because I never kept count) I ended up with 44 subexposures of 10 min each over 4 or 5 nights.
I just recently purchased CCD Inspector/CCDStack and this image is the first time I used this software (previously only used CCDSoft). Also this is the first time I used CS2 to finalize the image. I am certainly a novice using this software combination. Fortunately it is winter and I have plenty of other images to get used to using that software combo.

Cedar, MN

January 24, 2010 05:38 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky


Posted By Chris Nisbet

As a follow up to the previous post, I imaged M66 on 1/9/2010 using a C11 @ f/11.5, ST8XME, CFW10 Astrodon filters and an AO8. 20x5min Lum 2x2, 6x5min RGB 2x2 at -40C. First color out of CCDStack and no further processing.

Cedar, MN

March 6, 2010 02:00 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC 3158 Galaxy Group

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is a shot of NGC 3158 and numerous surrounding very small galaxies. Just how many galaxies are there is this frame(haven't had time to count them yet)? Doesn't seem to be a whole lot of pictures of this group out there. Kinda cool to get that many galaxies in such a small frame. And it was relatively warm in Minnesota when I took this-it was 15 degF ABOVE zero! Spring is coming!

Taken this morning with a C11 @f/11.5, ST-8XME, MI-250, 2x2, 25x7min subs @ -35C, CCDStack

Chris Nisbet
Cedar, MN

September 4, 2010 01:00 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Arp 31/IC 167

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Just took this this morning. A search of the web shows that Arp 31 is not a popular target. (I'm sure it doesn't help that it's so small.) The Sky lists it as 2.2 x 1.4, mag 13.9. The skies were extremely dark here in Minneapolis due to the cold front that just rolled through. Mag 5.5 skies just 22 miles from the heart of downtown. That's pretty good for me! Skies were a little "bouncy" though. This object presented more detail than I anticipated so it was a welcome surprise. Never a shortage of (small) targets with this setup. You never know what might show up with a small target.

Details-1992 C11 (CF retrofit), MI-250, f/11.5, ST-8XME binned 2x2, AO-8 using guide star exposure of .75 sec, 12 x 10 min subs.

September 5, 2010 02:19 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Arp 86 (NGC 7752/3)

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is another pic of a small galaxy, Arp 86. Size listed as 3.3 x 2.1 (main galaxy) and 0.8 x 0.5. Listed mags are 12.0 and 14.3 respectively. Summer is coming to an end-temp was 37F at my observatory in Minneapolis MN.

Details-1992 C11 (CF tube retrofit), MI-250, ST-8XME binned 2x2, 15x10 min subs, AO-8 .5 sec guide star exposure, CCD Stack v2

Cedar, MN

September 14, 2010 12:51 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC 488-Asteroid (or Comet) Question

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Look at this and the next post for the pictures. I haven't processed the images yet (single 10min exposure, no reduction)but here is my question-during the exposures, some object was moving very slowly right next to NGC 488 (RA 1h 22min Dec +5'18") taken between 4:50 UT and 7:50 UT 9/13/2010. How does one go about identifying that object (or can somebody figure it out)? Object is around 11 o'clock on the red and around 9 o'clock on the blue-NGC 488 is the clock!

Cedar MN