Archive for the “IOM” Category

Imaging Object of the Month

This month’s image is a wide-field taken using the amazing Canon EF200 f#2.8 prime lens and a Canon 5D MkII DSLR.  Piggy-back mounted on the C11 I took 10 x 5-minute subs at ISO 400 and f#4 with an IDAS filter attached to the EF200.  As expected the Heart and Soul nebulae didn’t come out too well with the un-modified 5D MkII, but I am very pleased indeed with the nice round stars from corner to corner over a 10 x 6.8 degree field of view – something well beyond the capabilities of my refractors.  Looks like I will be using this rig for star fields and reasonably high resolution constellation shots.

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I see the Image of the Month didn’t pop up a couple of days back.  Either I didn’t do one or it’s lost in cyberspace.  Never mind, here’s one a couple of days late.  This is the recent M11 in the Scutum star cloud image taken a couple of months back using the mini-WASP array.  This is rapidly becoming my favourite image, mainly due to all those stars :)

 

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For this DSS2 image of the Tulip nebula region in Cygnus I just kept adding frames until the computer gave up :)

 

 

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This is a 5-frame mosaic put together using Noel Carboni’s Astronomy Tools for Photoshop and DSS2 red and blue channel data.  I seriously question why I bother to image when such high quality data is readily available to download and process into a such a stunning RGB image.

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Yes – another single star picture for this month’s Image of the Month.  Polaris, the Pole star, the North star, Alpha Ursa Minor – the Navigator’s friend.  I like this region of space because 1)  It is rarely imaged and 2)  It is difficult to take deep images in this region due to the vagaries of the good old GEM.  Quite a few faint fuzzies in the background of this one, and many of them are closer to the Pole than well-known Polarissima Borealis.  The green cross-hairs at the 2 O’clock position from Polaris indicate the position of the North Celestial Pole, as you can see, it’s actually quite some way from Polaris.  Finally, yes, if you think you can see some “cloud” in there – this is a touch of the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN).

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The Image of the Month for May 2013 is the recent reprocess of the Coathanger Cluster (Al Sufi’s cluster, Collinder 399) in the constellation Vulpecula.  This reprocess by Noel Carboni included data from the mini-WASP array plus deep data from the Hyperstar III.  To the left of the cluster we see the sparkling little open cluster NGC 6802, which reminds me a lot of little NGC 1502 sitting at the end of Kemble’s cascade.  This image of the Coathanger represents around 8-hours of total imaging time using OSC cameras M25C and M26C.  I like the Milky Way background and the prominent dark patches in this image.

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The image of the month for April 2013 is the stunning red star Mu Cephei.  As you know, I really like the impact the bright single star images have, especially when the single star is something very special.

Mu Cephei is also known as Herschel’s Garnet star – it is a red supergiant in Cepheus and is one of the largest and most luminous stars in the whole of our galaxy!

Mu Cephei is approximately 1000 times larger than our Sun’s solar radius, and if it were placed in the Sun’s position, it would reach between the orbit of Jupiter and Saturn.

Mu Cephei’s apparent brightness varies without recognizable pattern between magnitude +3.62 and +5 in a period of 2 to 2.5 years. Mu Cephei is visually nearly 100,000 times brighter than the Sun, with an absolute visible magnitude of Mv = −7.6. Combining its absolute visible brightness, its infrared radiation, and correcting for interstellar extinction gives a luminosity of around 350,000 solar luminosities, making it one of the most luminous stars known.

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The Image of the Month for March 2013 is the recent mini-WASP array capture of M46 & M47, a lovely pair of open clusters in Puppis.  I have wanted to grab this one since the winter constellations first started appearing at a decent hour back in December 2012 – but we simply haven’t had the weather.  What I really like about this image is the Puppis Milky Way background – I just like clusters with Milky Way backgrounds I guess.  Taken using all 3 M26C one shot colour cameras on the mini-WASP array.

 

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I’ve just noticed that for some reason the new Image of the Month hasn’t automatically popped up.  Strange – absolutely no idea what went wrong there.  Never mind – here it is – just a little late.  The February 2013 Image of the Month is that recent single star image of Sirius I took using the mini-WASP array.  This is a 2-framer of the region, and what I find remarkable is the fact that magnitude 17 stars can be found quite close in to magnitude -1.46 Sirius.  This is testament to both Noel’s processing skills and to the incredible dynamic range of the Starlight Xpress M26C one-shot colour camera.  Also says a great deal for the well-overflow control of the M26C :)

 

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So we have the first Image of the Month for 2013 – Happy New Year :)

This one is a fairly new image taken at the beginning of last month – but for me and the New Forest Observatory it is something of a landmark image.  This is of course Kemble’s Cascade in the constellation Camelopardalis and it represents the first real opportunity for the mini-WASP array to show its stuff.  Taken in a single evening this is a 2-framer of the region so it is clear that the ability to use several scopes in parallel for imaging pays off in being able to acquire data that would have previously taken me several (good clear) nights – and we know how rare those are.

The mini-WASP array in its current incarnation comprises one Sky 90 and two TS 80mm triplet APOs, each with its own M26C 10-megapixel one-shot colour CCD camera.  With all three systems running I can grab 3-hour’s worth of total integration time for just one hour’s worth of total imaging time.  The Sky 90 also has a filter wheel and H-alpha, H-beta, SII and OIII filters for grabbing narrow band data while the two TS 80s grab the RGB template.  Once I get used to handling this beast we shall start to see some new and unique imagery coming out of the New Forest Observatory and the Parker-Carboni deep-sky imaging factory.  This is going to be a really interesting year for the NFO :)

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