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Posts Made By: Alec Hitchman

June 24, 2006 12:49 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Third light with Orion Starshoot... M57

Posted By Alec Hitchman


Nice ring coming from the Starshoot.

In my experience, the Starshoot is very sensitive to light pollution....perhaps this is true of all color cameras?


July 4, 2006 12:06 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC7331 with added bonus!!

Posted By Alec Hitchman


I cobbled together some more acceptable frames for this pesky galaxy, and also reshot my flats and re-calibrated all of the subs;

now I have a total of 60 subs, about 40 to 50 of them three minutes, and the remainder are five minutes; figure about three hours total.

I did not bother to crop, and apparently I sharpened too aggressively....


July 4, 2006 05:12 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

A preview

Posted By Alec Hitchman


Me likee! I would eventually like to get the full compiment of narrow band filters, after I get more experience maybe.

Nice tight stars for the long subs.

That band on the left side of the that actually how the NAN looks, or is that some kind of a gradient?

Can't wait for more of these types of images...please keep posting them when you get a chance!


July 5, 2006 03:46 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Opinion on a new imager

Posted By Alec Hitchman


I have been having good luck with an Orion Starshoot imager. It has thermoelectric cooling (non-regulated), which is nice for a camera at it's pricepoint ($350?).

The Starshoot would give you ~1.2 arcsec/pixel at f/4.5, which is about 20% larger image compared to the SAC-7.

With the Starshoot, your FOV would be 11.4 x 14.7 arcmin, which is just about right for your normal sized brighter galaxies out there (M64, M106, etc.).

While it certainly isn't a SBIG or something, it might be a good step up for you.

See attached image, about one hour of exposure with 2-minute subs, in light polluted skies, using Meade 14" SCT at f/3.3.


P.S., I forgot to mention, I use the software Nebulosity to do my Starshoot captures, which also supports the SAC-7. The author, Craig Stark, also has just released a free autoguiding application, PHD, which also supports the Starshoot and SAC-7. Might be another thing to consider, you could extend your loan on the SAC-7, and use it to autoguide, LOL.

July 11, 2006 06:32 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Flailing away at NGC7331

Posted By Alec Hitchman

And, here is the original stack, with just a quick pass through DPP on each color channel in Stellar Magic Pro.

Thanks for looking!

July 14, 2006 05:09 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky


Posted By Alec Hitchman


Thanks for posting. Your globulars always come out looking very good. I like the rich star field.

Well done!


July 17, 2006 02:46 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC7000 - The Gulf Region in Ha

Posted By Alec Hitchman


That is a very nice Ha image. It looks like the periodic error on your G-11 is really small.


July 17, 2006 07:25 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Scott Ireland's: Photoshop Astronomy

Posted By Alec Hitchman


I also purchased the Ireland book, and I definately agree with you; it is well worth the price.

I am a novice at Photoshop, and his "step-by-step" approach was just what I needed to get started.


July 17, 2006 07:28 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

NGC 6357 - Emission Nebula

Posted By Alec Hitchman


Nice shot. I also have an APOgraded WO scope, and it's a real performer. You are really putting yours to good use, which I cannot say about mine, yet!


July 19, 2006 06:36 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Identifying Objects

Posted By Alec Hitchman


Starry Night Pro, when looking at M11 from Newark, NJ, shows the polar geosynchronous satellite Galaxy 16 making a pass right by M11 at 12:27 EST on 7/15/2006. It shows the satellite as being magnitude 8.56, which seems bright compared to what you have in your picture. By the length of the trail, do you have about 2-3 minutes of total time on your picture?

I'm not sure what the secondary track is; perhaps an internal reflection from a filter or a reducer?

According to web sources, Galaxy 16 was launched from the Sea Launch platform back in June of this year (2006), so you possibly have an image of a shroud that was shed after final configuration of the satellite in orbit.

Cool picture!