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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

One or two inches, please?

That's a comparison between an old 1" Bresser and a new 2" Televue diagonal attached to the very sharp Takahashi FS-78 of Mr. Kostantin K. in Germany.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A beautiful telescope

Let's get a look at this beautiful telescope. This new astrophotographic system belongs to a friend. It consists of a:
Here is the very first image taken with this amazing scope. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a 10 second test exposure of the seven sisters. Here are the Pleiades !

Monday, November 08, 2010

Castor: The six-pack in Gemini

Alpha Geminorum is a sextuple star system with six individual stars gravitationally bound together. It is approx. 50 light years away from us.
Links: Wikipedia

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The prize for your patience is a better photo

Please sit down and watch this! This is the price for the patience of some astrophotographers. The difference in S/N (signal-to-noise) ratio and the count of visible details is really noticable if you compare both Ha narrowband photos of NGC1893 in Auriga shown above. The first astrophoto is the result of an exposure of 960 seconds. The second one is a median stack of 5 x 960 seconds 2 x 600 seconds. It's incredible isn't it? The original high resolution picture can be found at https://files.me.com/xipteras/2ncnxf

Thursday, October 28, 2010

AstroDigital.Net on the Kindle

This is my homepage on the Kindle ebook reader of amazon.com. The Kindle is thin, light, portable and suitable to read ebooks. The 3G version is Internet capable.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NGC2404 is a nebula in the galaxy NGC2403

This is an underexposed test photo of the galaxy NGC2403 in the Camelopardalis constellation. The integration ime was 3x3 minutes on each LRGB channel at f/3.6. It has been 2x digitally zoomed in MaximDL.
NGC2404 is a nebulous region in the external galaxy NGC2403. This faint object is located in the Camelopardalis constellation. The 3rd astrophoto shown above is one 16 minutes exposure at 385mm FL at f/3.6 using an SBIG ST-7XME NABG astrocamera under the light polluted skies. It has been digitally 2x zoomed with the software MaximDL. The spikes are overflowed pixels caused from bright stars due to the missing antiblooming gates of the used astrocamera.
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See also:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The autoguider settings in CCDSoft

These are the settings I am using for the system described in the categories below. You may also consult the CCDWare autoguider calculator to find out the proper settings for yours.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The double star 6Tri in Triangulum

This is the double star 6Tri in the Triangulum constellation. It is also called "TZ Tri" and it is 305 light years away from us. Amateur astronomers can identify two stars with a brightsness of 5.15 and 6.55 magnitudes and a separation of 4" arcseconds. It is well observed through an amateur telescope at a magnification of 200x. The photo above has been taken at 2415mm focal length and it has been digitally x2 zoomed.

Friday, September 03, 2010

NGC7790 in Cassiopeia

Digitally 2x zoomed. Exposed in June 2010. Data: Luminance= 2 x 2 minutes at -19°C CCD sensor temperature.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

NGC281 in Cassiopeia

This is a test photo of the Pac Man nebula in Cassiopeia, as captured with the 106mm, f/3.6 telescope in only 10 minutes: R=3 min, G=3 min, B=4min. This photo is the first light of the scope with the reducer. The camera was an old SBIG ST-7XME NABG with a small but sensitive chip. This scope screams for a larger chip! Note, the composite above is only a pure RGB without any portion of Ha. The camera shows much noise at this low temperature of -15°C. A water cooling would be very helpful especially in the summer.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Barbeque in the Plattenwald forest

This is the www.bksterngucker.de team from Backnang. They own a 30 inches Dobson telescope. This is one of the biggest portable telescopes in Europe. Yesterday, they had a barbeque in the Plattewald forest near Backnang/Germany.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The neighborhood of Perseus A


This is the area around the galaxy "Perseus-A" in the constellation of Perseus. This galaxy as part of the Perseus galaxy cluster is about 240.000.000 light years away from our milky way. It is a well known radio source. The Perseus galaxy cluster consists of about 500 galaxies.
Unfortunately, the test photo above is not as sharp as it should be, since the telescope was slightly out of focus during the image aquisition. The integration time was 2 x 10 minutes using a 4 inches f/3.6 telescope (second light), this was not long enough to capture its numerous details.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

M33 Triangulum Galaxy (First light)

This is the first light with the 4 inches telescope. The focussing works well in spite of its tight CFZ at f/3.65. The optics are approx. 3 times faster than my previous FS102@f/6. Well, the results look quite promising, although the FOV with the old ST7 is very small indeed. It is less than 1°. The photo is taken during the full moon phase. Hence, strong gradients are detectable in this photo. The color versions are composites of Red=3x3min, Green=3x3min, Blue=3x4min, L=10+3*3min.

Monday, August 09, 2010

How to process Jupiter with GIOTTO

These are the settings I used recently to process my Jupiter photo. The software you see is http://www.giotto-software.de/ available in german language. Don't forget to make a "white balance" with MaximDL after finishing it.

RGB vs. RRGB in planet photography

If you are a planet photographer and you make video sequenses with a color webcam, I have a good tip for you. After adding the avi video stream with GIOTTO or Registax, separate the R/G/B channels with MaximDL or GIOTTO. Copy the R channel to a new file to use it as luminance. Finally load all four files in CCDSoft to make a RRGB composite. You can compare the results on the photo above.
The RRGB processing brings out invisible details of a RGB photo. My RRGB composite above is sharper than the RGB although I think the RGB has better colors than the RRGB. One problem I can mention, is that the red channel as luminance can not match the green or blue details of the planet. Normally, a "real" luminance channel should match all the colors of a RGB photo. That's not the case in RRGB. But as you know, the red channel is immune against atmospharic turbulences, this is the reason why in MY case the red channel shows more details than the green channel. The bayer mask of an OSC cam has two green pixels but only one red pixel. Hence the green channel could better serve as a luminance channel under perfect seeing conditions (in the space ;-). I think so. If a reader has a suggestion please comments this topic. Thanks.

Observing Jupiter from the roof window

Last week, the seeing was surprising good here in South Germany, so I decided to observe Jupiter with my Takahashi Mewlon 210 telescope. The views of this planet were stunning indeed, even at the high magnification of 300x using a Takahashi 7mm LE eyepiece. After this observation, I decided to attach my Imaging-Source DBK21 color webcam on the telescope and to take some photos. I made several avi files. Each one of them had 1GB of data, so it wasn't an easy task to process them with my 5 years old 2GHz PC.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The storms on Jupiter

Last night, the seeing was surprising good here in South Germany, so I decided to observe Jupiter with my Takahashi Mewlon 210 telescope. The views of this planet were stunning indeed, even at the high magnification of 300x using a Takahashi 7mm LE eyepiece. After this observation, I decided to attach my Imaging-Source DBK21 color webcam on the telescope and to take some photos.
Here you can see the results.
You can see even the storms on the planet. It is amazing, isn't?
Made in Stuttgart on July 31th, 2010 with a Mewlon 210 telescope at 6000mm focal length. All pictures are RRGB composites. An animation of the above photo series is available in my site at http://www.astrodigital.net/projects/projects.html / Chapter "Jupiter"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Venus after the sunset

The planet Venus after the sunset as observed from my roof observatory in Germany. The bad local seeing conditions and the low altitude of the planet in the horizon are blooring the photo. Anyway, the Venus phase is still clearly visible.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

M2 - a globular cluster in Aquarius

This is a live report from my roof observatory in Germany. I am currently observing the globular cluster M2 in the Aquarius constellation. The photo above has been taken few minutes ago with my FS-102 (f/5.6) telescope at 560 mm focal length. This is a 10 minutes exposure with a ST7XME camera on an unguided JPZ mount under the light polluted skies of BK city. A dark has been substracted. Neither flats nor bias are used.

M15 - a globular cluster in Pegasus

This is a live report from my roof observatory in Germany. I am currently observing the globular cluster M15 in the Pegasus constellation. The photo above has been taken few minutes ago with my FS-102 (f/5.6) telescope at 560 mm focal length. This is a 3 minutes exposure with a ST7XME camera on an unguided JPZ mount under the light polluted skies of BK city. A dark has been substracted. Neither flats nor bias are used.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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