Category Archives: Astrophotography

My Astrophotography Activities

The Horse Head and Flame Nebula

The Horse Head and Flame Nebula

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33) is a dark nebula in the constellation of Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the start Alnitak, which is the farthest east on Orion’s Belt and is part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.

Equipment

ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
ZWO 8 position 1.25″ EFW
Orion Narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2) 7nm bandpass
Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
Orion ED80T-CF
Orion SSAG (Guide Cam)
Orion 80mm Short Tube (Guide Scope)
EQ Focuser
EQ Switch
Software

Sequence Generator Pro
PixInsight
Photoshop CC2018

The California Nebula

The California Nebula

Taken under two hours of total integration time and yet was able to come up with a very good detail of the nebulosity.  Also this was a quick and dirty processing, nothing special in PinInsight and not even processed in Photoshop.  All was done with this image is just a simple PixelMath for combining the images from Ha and S2 filter data.  Will update this post as I’m still collecting data.

Testing the Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD

I recently purchased the Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD lens for my canon.  I tested it using the SL1 and 7D that has the cropped sensor.  I was amazed with the result and it’s truly at 22.2x zoom.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bertandmai/37659856664/in/dateposted-public/

@18mm

35mm

@35mm

 

50mm

@50mm

 

70mm

@70mm

 

100mm

@100mm

 

200mm

@200mm

 

300mm

@300mm

 

400mm

@400mm

The images above are not processed, no correction, without any filter, etc.  This is just a demonstration of the zoom capability of the lens.  All shots are handheld with only the VC turned On.

The Wizard Nebula (NGC 7380)

This is becoming my another favorite.  I’ve struggled with capturing and processing this object, partly because of weather and because of equipment malfunction.  The first try was good enough but I realized the sulfur-2 data was bad and processing made it like a nightmare because of all the stars.

The Wizard Nebula is located some 7200 light years away and is surrounded by developing star clusters.  With this latest image, instead of removing the stars, I felt like the stars are actually making the image really look different, different from others.  I love the color of the stars and see the dust lanes glowing because of the starlight.

The Wizard Nebula

Equipment

  • ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
  • ZWO 8 position 1.25″ EFW
  • Orion Narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2) 7nm bandpass
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
  • Orion ED80T-CF
  • Orion SSAG (Guide Cam)
  • Orion 80mm Short Tube (Guide Scope)
  • EQ Focuser
  • EQ Switch

Capture and Processing

  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PixInsight
  • Photoshop CC 2018

Sub/Frames Information

  • Ha – 44 x 300 secs
  • O3 – 42 x 300 secs
  • S2 – 60 x 300 secs
  • Dark – 40
  • bias – 50

EQFocuser – Instructions

EQFocuser Description

The EQFocuser started as a DIY project powered by Arduino and ASCOM.  It is completely compliant with ASCOM and so far this is the focuser that I’m using with my telescopes.  I have a couple of variations that are using different types of motor depending on the need.  The project is open source and you can download the drivers and sketch files here https://github.com/EverettQuebral/EQFocuser

Supported Stepper Motor Controller

Hardware Parts

  • 1 Arduino (Nano – $5.00, Uno – $8.00)
  • 1 Telescope specific bracket (I 3D printed mine)
  • Set of screws for your focuser
  • Aluminum Flexible Shaft Coupling ($1.50) (Please select the size for your focuser)
  • 2 Pull Up Switch (Optional)
  • 1 Variable Resistor (Optional)
  • 1 DHT11 (Temperature/Humidity) Sensor (Optional)

For EasyDriver or Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Sheild

For ST35 or 28BYJ-48

Diagrams

Diagram Using ULN2003 Motor Driver

ULN 2003 Motor Driver

Diagram Using EasyDriver

EasyDriver Pins

The video above shows the NEMA 17 0.4AMP with 56.7oz.in torque

Github Location

https://github.com/EverettQuebral/EQFocuser

Driver Download

You can download the latest Driver at the Release section https://github.com/EverettQuebral/EQFocuser/releases

3D Model Files

Available under the Resources folder

Also available at Thingiverse

Processing the Rosette Nebula

Deconvolution

The image below was corrected using PixInsight’s Deconvolution to fix/correct the raw data that was later added as Luminance frame for the SHO combination.  Also the combined imaged was later exported to Photoshop CC2018 with a little bit of Smart Sharpen filter.  Overall the image looked clearer and have more detail than the previous two.

Another rendition of the Rosette Nebula from the same data. With a more aggressive port processing

 

Favorite Image

So far the image below is my favorite that I actually ordered a 24×30 canvas print.  The result was very easy to the eyes and really loved the combination of blue and gold.

Rosette Nebula

Golden Center

This image depicts a very fire’y core of the nebula, while the bluish clouds are perfect for blending in the background.  Didn’t do much on this as it is very well seen in the star halos (magenta) and the background gradient fix actually made the image worst, but this image was invited to the Flickr’s Explore Gallery where it got a lot of Fave’s

The Rosette Nebula (Gold in the Center)

Equipment

  • ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
  • ZWO 8 position 1.25″ EFW
  • Orion Narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2) 7nm bandpass
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
  • Orion ED80T-CF
  • Orion SSAG (Guide Cam)
  • Orion 80mm Short Tube (Guide Scope)
  • EQ Focuser
  • EQ Switch

Software

  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PixInsight
  • Photoshop CC2018

Frames

  • 12 x 5 minutes Ha
  • 12 x 5 minutes S2
  • 12 x 5 minutes
  • 40 dark frames
  • 100 bias frames
  • no flats