Archive for the “mini-WASP Array” Category

The creation and use of the New Forest Observatory mini-WASP array

Another clear night last night – what is going on??  Fired up the miniWASP array, this time using the 2 x Canon 200mm prime lenses and the Trius M26C 10-Megapixel OSC CCDs.  Target – the rich Milky Way region in Lacerta.  I was originally going to take a 2-framer of this region JUST showing a huge star density, but when I looked at the region on a planetarium program I saw that this was not a good choice.  If I took the frame to the right, rather than to the left – then instead of just having a mass of stars, I would also get a pile of dark nebulosity as well as the Cocoon nebula.  So I took the right hand frame.  Left hand frame was 16 x 10-minute subs and right hand frame was 14 x 10-minute subs, so a total exposure time of 5-hours but with only 2 and a half hours of actual (real) imaging time.  Registar says there are 250,000 stars in this image.

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Having swapped out the Master Computer and mucked around a bit with Sky 90(1) I had some clear sky last night to take some test shots to see what needs fine tuning.  This image is just 12 x 5-minute subs with the array.  I now know that I need to very slightly flatten the Sky 90(1) chip and I need to re-align Sky 90(2) and Sky 90(3) to Sky 90(1).  Then the Sky 90 array will be ready for the new season.  The Canon 200mm DSLR array is of course fine and needs no attention!!  I wish now that I had built the whole array out of Canon 200mm lenses – live and learn 🙂

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Noel Carboni recently processed the 22-hours of data from the Sky 90 mini-WASP array.  This data comprised 15 and 20-minute sub-exposures.

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I have only just stacked ALL the data on this one from late 2014.  This is 69 subs using 15.20-minute exposures for a total of 22-hours on this one.

The Sky 90 array on the mini-WASP. f#4.5 3 x Sky 90s and 3 x M26C OSC CCDs.

 

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Beautiful clear Moonless night last night but we only get astronomical darkness starting around 11 p.m. so it’s a late start at this time of the year (and darkness ends around 3 p.m. so you don’t get many hours of darkness either).  I saw some nice contrasting red and blue stars in Draco using a planetarium program, and as a bonus I could also get NGC 4236 (Caldwell 3) in the frame as well – a barred spiral galaxy.  This image is 30 x 10-minute subs taken with the Sky 90 array on the mini-WASP.  When I packed up for the evening there was Saturn near Antares in the south, and quite high up in the sky there was Lyra and Cygnus, so summer is clearly not far away 🙂  All in all a superb night’s imaging.

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Turned out rather noisy for 30 x 1,000 second subs with the Sky 90 array.  Not sure why as there was no Moon about.  Maybe I forget to turn the Peltiers on??  Need to redo this one with the Hyperstar III.

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4 hours of 10-minute subs from last year with the Sky 90 array.  Akira Fujii effect.

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Here is a 4-frame mosaic of the Kemble’s Cascade region taken with the Sky 90 array and M26C OSC CCDs.

I have used the Akira Fujii effect to enhance the brighter stars.  This actually means deliberately bloating the brighter stars which makes the image more pleasing in print.  As we actually go out of our way to minimise bloating in stars when we image them, this is a rather perverse process 🙂

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The Sky 90 array was set on this object to see if I could pick up the 3 quasars near this galaxy.  No sign!! A day later I put the Hyperstar III on the same region but only got 4 x 10-minute subs 🙁  Possible sign of one of the quasars, but no sign of the other two – not a fair test however.  Below is the Noel Carboni process of the Sky 90 data.

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A Sky90 image of the Rho Leonis region.  Rho Leonis is a very blue star.

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