Archive for November, 2007

STOP PRESS!!!!

Really great news!!!

Parker Technology have signed an agreement with High Speed Flash dot com whereby HSF have the exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights to my High Speed Flash technology.

I am extremely pleased that this arrangement brings the potential of real HSF photography to the general public for the first time!

If you want to know more about High Speed Flas dot com’s range of high-speed flash equipment contact them through their website address given above.

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The Parker/Carboni coffee-table book “Star Vistas” has been accepted for publication by a major publisher. 

We are currently discussing the contractual Agreement and hope we can make an announcement within the week!  Watch this space

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In the December 2007 issue of Practical Astronomer the Editor (Eddie Guscott) interviews Greg Parker about his imaging from the New Forest Observatory and his collaboration with Noel Carboni via the Internet.

This is a 6-page interview and makes the magazine worth purchasing 🙂  

Our thanks to Eddie and the rest of the team at Practical Astronomer for taking the time to interview us, it was a great experience.

The images below are the same as some of those in the article

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At 8.00 a.m. this morning an upgrade to Photoshop CS3 arrived.  Within half an hour I was creating mosaics from frames that Photoshop CS2 simply couldn’t handle. 

The image below is a 15-framer, stitched together perfectly by CS3. 

This upgrade to Photoshop is going to be a great help in stitching together deep-sky images, and high resolution Moon shots!  If you produce mosaic images and you use Photoshop, you really should consider this upgrade.

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Dick Miller, who took many of the images in the “Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies” book, visited the New Forest Observatory towards the end of Summer [September 2007] and wrote this report (warning: it is a 2MB PDF file) for the November issue of the Johnson Space Centre Astronomical Society magazine.

It certainly was a pleasure to meet Dick and I promise to consider his invitation 🙂

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Springer New York sold the complete U.S.A. stock (pre-publication) to a book club and are now awaiting the second print run due January 2008.

There is apparently a shipment of books on its way to Germany for the European market – but Springer U.S.A. have asked for some of these back as they currently have no stock!

So for the book signing – it is a case of watch this space, but November 2007 now seems unlikely 🙁

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We have a new image for you to enjoy!

This is the IC410/405 region in Auriga – the Flaming Star Nebula and Companion. 

To produce this image took around 16.5 hours:

  • 5.5 hours of RGB in 750-second subs
  • 6 hours of H-alpha in 20-minute subs
  • 5 hours processing time
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Great News! I’m giving a talk at the 3rd Appleton Space Conference which is being held at the Rutherford Appleton Lab on the 6th December 2007.

My subject is “Astronomy from Home”.  Unfortunately, the conference isn’t open to the public but at least I’ll be able to talk about the work that we (the entire “amateur” asto-photograhic community) are all doing.  Read the rest of this entry »

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When I originally bought the Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector way back in April-May 2002, I did so because it could use the highly innovative Hyperstar lens, and at that time there was no Meade equivalent.

The Hyperstar is in my opinion a totally brilliant Celestron concept and an extremely brave move on their part as they would have known about the considerable problems with properly aligning the lens assembly, and the potential customer dissatisfaction with the product.

The Hyperstar is basically a 1x field-flattener lens assembly that takes the place of the secondary mirror in a standard Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  Your CCD imager sits on the end of the Hyperstar and this creates a very strange looking beast indeed.  I must admit, I fell in love with this thing before I even started Hyperstar imaging; this looked so extreme and really piqued my curiosity.

Since you now have your imager at the secondary mirror position, it is clear that the focal length you are working at is very much reduced, the light does not now go all the way up to the secondary mirror, and then all the way back down the telescope again to come out at the normal eyepiece position.  So the Hyperstar basically turns a very slow f#10 optical system into an unbelievably fast f#1.85 astrograph – an incredibly good idea.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I thought I’d talk about techniques and show how some of the techniques used to create our deep-sky astroimages can be used in terrestrial photography as well. 

For example, the two images of North Weirs in the New Forest (just 3 minutes walk from NFO) are 4-frame mosaics. 

 
 

The four frames were taken manually (no tripod) and stitched together in exactly the same way the Hyperstar and Sky 90 mosaics are created.  Also, some curves were used to brighten up a rather cool image taken with a very low Autumn Sun.

The row of houses are on North Weirs road, and the open forest landscape is the view from these houses. 

As you can imagine, this is a nice dark site and much better than the NFO location. 🙁

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