Sunday, August 26, 2012


William Grayson Shaw at 7 weeks

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Milky Way north of the Sagittarius star cloud with M11 at top and M16/M17 near the lower left.

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The northern milky way is fascinating, but less photogenic than the Sagittarius star clouds. Dark lanes criss-cross the region. This was taken with a 50 mm f1.4 Nikkor lens stopped down to f2 or f2.8 attached to an SBIG STL6303e CCD camera and a Meade goto mount for tracking. Processed in Photoshop CS4.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Just a quick snapshot of the Pleiades and Hyades from the side yard. This was about 8 seconds at f4 on a tripod - no tracking. Nice to see harbingers of cooler weather.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

The region around the North American nebula is interesting but difficult at the same time since the camera can only image bits of th region and I haven't completely worked out the processing to stick images together unless I avoid using CCDOPs track and stack whereupon I could use traditional flat fielding techniques. Here is a section around the head of the Pelican nebula.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

I had someone tell me yesterday that "If you hadn't told me that was a supernova I would have thought that was a photo of a galaxy." Maybe they meant that it was "just" a photo of a galaxy, but to be sure I put our old photo from May side by side with Friday's photo from August 26. The supernova is the star just above the date on the August photo. Clearly there was no star there before.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

After photographing the supernova I took some time to look at the summer milky way and used CCDOPs ability to track and stack images to see if I could improve over my last image attempts. Track and stack does bad things to the image size, clipping the edges while stacking, which means my normal flats and darks didn't work. Resizing and editing the images meant converting them to 8-bit which affected the image adversely. Since then I've had access to CS4 which allows me to edit 16 bit files and ImageJ which can convert 16 bit fits to tiffs for use in Photoshop without loss. This has greatly improved the processing.

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A supernova in M101 -- August 26, 2011. Compare to the image below. The relatively bright star below the nucleus a little over half of the way to the bottom is the supernova and is not in the May 3, 2011 image.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

In the spring the Virgo cluster of galaxies and the galaxies in Ursa Major are easily accessible using the observatory telescope.

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