Progressing with Astrophotography

The Process of Learning

Learning Astrophotography is an uphill battle. It’s good to see my progress as an Astrophotographer and an Amateur Astronomer. PATIENCE is the key to learning and progressing specially with so much knowledge and skill required. Also TECHNIQUE and a little bit of perseverance helps.

Here are some of the examples of the struggles in capturing and processing.  Also the equipment being pushed to the limit to get a hight quality images.

The Crab Nebula

is an interesting target in the winter sky.  It is very small and have so much detail that it requires a good equipment.  Also time is essential to get more data as much as possible.   There are a couple of challenges here and some solution.  One is time where it can be solved by a little bit of automation.  I haven’t really figured this out but not outside all the time helps.  One thing that is really make it difficult is the light pollution.  I have a light pollution filter but it doesn’t really work specially on seasons like there are so many Xmas lights from the neighbors.  The narrowband filters work with a monochrome camera but it opens up another challenge where it can add up a lot of time to capture and a lot of skill to process.

December 27, 2016

Crab Nebula (M1) in HaO3S2
Crab Nebula (M1) in HaO3S2 Full Size

Equipment used, processing and summary of data

  • Explore Scientific 127ED Essential Series
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount 9x50mm plus Orion SSAG Autoguider
  • ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cooled cooled to -30C
  • ZWO MiniEFW with Ha, O3, S2 narrowband filters
  • AstroTech 2″ Flattener
  • EQFocuser
  • PHD2 for Autoguiding
  • Nebulosity 4 for capture and stacking
  • Photoshop CS6 for little post processing

The post processing that I have done on that image is very minimal as in a simple levels and curves and that’s why the hot pixels are not removed.  No darks, no flat, no bias are used in pre-processing of the images that was stacked.  The total exposure time for that image is around 8 hours.

December 26, 2016

Crab Nebula in HaO3S2
Crab Nebula in HaO3S2

This was the original image but there’s a lack of post-processing as the stars doesn’t have the right colors.  This is a total of 4 hours total exposure time with the same equipment above.

September 20, 2015

Crab Nebula in RGB
Crab Nebula in RGB

 

 

This was my first trial in using the ZWO ASI1600MM-Cooled camera and the ZWO Mini EFW with Light Reduction Pollution Filter and RGB.  Combining LRGB images is really taking a toll on me partly because of focusing.  Struggled here to adjust focus and match histograms for the different light frames.

September 15, 2015

Crab Nebula with LPRF
Crab Nebula with LPRF

 

 

Probably 2 years ago as of this date, using a Canon DLSR Camera

Crab Nebula using DLSR
Crab Nebula using DLSR

 

Horse Head Nebula

Horse Head Nebula in Ha
Horse Head Nebula in Ha Full Size

Equipment used

  • Explore Scientific 127ED Essential Series
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount 9x50mm plus Orion SSAG Autoguider
  • ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cooled cooled to -30C
  • ZWO MiniEFW with Ha, O3, S2 narrowband filters
  • AstroTech 2″ Flattener
  • EQFocuser
  • PHD2 for Autoguiding
  • Nebulosity 4 for capture and stacking
  • Photoshop CS6 for little post processing
Horse Head Nebula
Horse Head Nebula

Equipment used is same as above

Flame and Horsehead Nebula
Flame and Horsehead Nebula

 

Horse head and Flame nebula
Horse head and Flame nebula

Equipment used

  • Celestron C11
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
  • 9x50mm with SSAG Autoguider
  • Canon SL1 unmodified camera
  • 1.25 Inch Orion LPRF
  • DSS
  • Photoshop CS6

This image suffered from extreme vignetting and processing was very difficult because of the quality of the data.

Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) and Horse Head Nebula
Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) and Horse Head Nebula

Same image above but processed using PixInsight, where the Background Extraction made a lot of difference compared to the image above.

Bubble Nebula

Bubble Nebula in Ha
Bubble Nebula in Ha

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