Stunning Astrophotographs

KmH

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Amateur astrophotography has come a long way since back in the day when we did it using film.

Digital photography allows 'stacking' images to enhance detail, and image stacking software allows us to 'erase' or average out the various types of digital image noise (read noise, dark current noise, thermal and amplification noise).

It is my intention to direct TPF members to outstanding examples of amateur astrophotographs in this thread as I become aware of well done astrophotographs.

These winter nights the Orion constellation and it's associated star forming clouds (nebula) of interstellar gas is easily visible. For me here in Iowa at about 42° north latitude Orion is in the southern quadrant of the night sky. The Orion Nebula gets no more than 40° above the southern horizon here, and would be lower still at higher latitudes.

In this astrophotograph the image data was accumulated by Robert Fields at a private, roll-off roof observatory in Howell Twp, MI.
. . .
usually the latest photo that I have been imaging and processing. Each photo typically takes about 3 days of data and about 5 days of processing. Most photos are either done in LRGB filters or Narrowband. Respectively, this represents a luminance filter (essentially a clear filter), and Red, Green and Blue filters. The photos are then processed by integrating each channel into the final color image. Similarly with the Narrowband, except that I assign a color for each filter so that a color image is resulted. Often I will use the Hubble space telescope format for this. . .

The telescope and camera used.
Takahashi FSQ 106 ED refractor
SBIG STL 11K Research Grade astronomy CCD camera

http://www.irvingtonobservatory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Orion-Final-Robert-Fields.jpg
Orion Widefield - Sky & Telescope
 

coastalconn

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Amateur astrophotography has come a long way since back in the day when we did it using film.

Digital photography allows 'stacking' images to enhance detail, and image stacking software allows us to 'erase' or average out the various types of digital image noise (read noise, dark current noise, thermal and amplification noise).

It is my intention to direct TPF members to outstanding examples of amateur astrophotographs in this thread as I become aware of well done astrophotographs.

These winter nights the Orion constellation and it's associated star forming clouds (nebula) of interstellar gas is easily visible. For me here in Iowa at about 42° north latitude Orion is in the southern quadrant of the night sky. The Orion Nebula gets no more than 40° above the southern horizon here, and would be lower still at higher latitudes.

In this astrophotograph the image data was accumulated by Robert Fields at a private, roll-off roof observatory in Howell Twp, MI.
. . .
usually the latest photo that I have been imaging and processing. Each photo typically takes about 3 days of data and about 5 days of processing. Most photos are either done in LRGB filters or Narrowband. Respectively, this represents a luminance filter (essentially a clear filter), and Red, Green and Blue filters. The photos are then processed by integrating each channel into the final color image. Similarly with the Narrowband, except that I assign a color for each filter so that a color image is resulted. Often I will use the Hubble space telescope format for this. . .

The telescope and camera used.
Takahashi FSQ 106 ED refractor
SBIG STL 11K Research Grade astronomy CCD camera

http://www.irvingtonobservatory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Orion-Final-Robert-Fields.jpg
Orion Widefield - Sky & Telescope
While I find this idea kind intriguing and the images very cool, do you think you would garner more interest in the landscape or general forum?
 
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KmH

KmH

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Hard to tell.
The night sky is just one part of Nature.
Hard to call a shot of the sky a landscape.
General is a catch all.
 

waday

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I agree, I think nature is the right forum..

That picture is gorgeous! :586:
 

jsecordphoto

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this stuff is incredible, I really want to try some deep space stuff soon. I don't have access to a telescope or mount but my buddy has a tracker he's going to let me try out during the next new moon
 
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The only details I know about how this HaLRGB mosaic image was made are that a Mamiya RZ 110 mm lens and an astronomical CCD camera mounted on a guided motorized equatorial mount using a homemade adapter were used.

The image is of the Orion constellation and in addition to it's associated stars has in it:
• Bernard's loop - the long red arc of gas in the lower left of the frame
• The Orion Nebula
• The Running Man Nebula
• The Horsehead Nebula
• The Flame Nebula
• Messier 78.

Be sure to click and zoom in so you can see the exquisite detail in the mosaic.
Orion_HaLRGB_4_G_web
 
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KmH

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The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex
. . . the entire Orion Constellation in 9 panels with over 1280 individual light, dark, flat, and bias frames. This mosaic reveals the majestic Barnard Loop surrounding the belt stars, the Horsehead Nebula, the Witch Head Nebula, The Angelfish Nebula, and the Great Orion Nebula . . .
. . . The amount of work it takes to get a mosaic to look seamless has been maddening. I've had to walk away several times as either sky conditions varied so much making frames completely unmatchable or having too many plane trails in the photo. Regardless, sticking with it was definitely worth it. I am out imaging the Ha channel as much as possible this season to print a nice large metal print for the wall.
Constellation Orion 9 Panel Mosaic- Atik 383 monochrome + 100mm Canon L - CCD Imaging & Processing

Integration:
Ha- 20- 300s x 9- 1x1
L - 10- 60s x 9- 2x2
R - 10- 60s x 9- 2x2
G - 10- 60s x 9- 2x2
B - 10- 60s x 9- 2x2
Matching dark frames
20 Flat Frames
20 Bias Frames

Equipment:
Canon 100mm Macro Lens
Atik 383L + Mono
Astronomic Ha 6nm fitler
Astro-Physics Mach 1
Gerd Neumann Filter system

Software:
Capture in Sequence Generator Pro
Calibration in Pixinsight
Edit levels and export in Photoshop

Captured in Cleveland Tennessee, Chattanooga Tn, and Fall Creek Falls State Park
 
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IronMaskDuval

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Here's an oldie I took of Thor's helmet. I was never good at this stuff. I never understood the RGB stacking to get the wonderful colors that everyone else gets. lol @KmH , do you have any pointers or can you lead me to a tutorial that'll teach me how to color these things?

thor.jpg
 

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Amateur astrophotography has come a long way since back in the day when we did it using film.

Digital photography allows 'stacking' images to enhance detail, and image stacking software allows us to 'erase' or average out the various types of digital image noise (read noise, dark current noise, thermal and amplification noise).

It is my intention to direct TPF members to outstanding examples of amateur astrophotographs in this thread as I become aware of well done astrophotographs.

These winter nights the Orion constellation and it's associated star forming clouds (nebula) of interstellar gas is easily visible. For me here in Iowa at about 42° north latitude Orion is in the southern quadrant of the night sky. The Orion Nebula gets no more than 40° above the southern horizon here, and would be lower still at higher latitudes.

In this astrophotograph the image data was accumulated by Robert Fields at a private, roll-off roof observatory in Howell Twp, MI.
. . .
usually the latest photo that I have been imaging and processing. Each photo typically takes about 3 days of data and about 5 days of processing. Most photos are either done in LRGB filters or Narrowband. Respectively, this represents a luminance filter (essentially a clear filter), and Red, Green and Blue filters. The photos are then processed by integrating each channel into the final color image. Similarly with the Narrowband, except that I assign a color for each filter so that a color image is resulted. Often I will use the Hubble space telescope format for this. . .

The telescope and camera used.
Takahashi FSQ 106 ED refractor
SBIG STL 11K Research Grade astronomy CCD camera

http://www.irvingtonobservatory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Orion-Final-Robert-Fields.jpg
Orion Widefield - Sky & Telescope
Wonderful job of capture and processing. Hard to believe you did this with a four inch refractor, even if it is a Tak.
 
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KmH

KmH

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I have not made any of the astrophotos posted about in this thread. So far.

In this astrophotograph the image data was accumulated by Robert Fields . .
 
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KmH

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Here's an oldie I took of Thor's helmet. I was never good at this stuff. I never understood the RGB stacking to get the wonderful colors that everyone else gets. lol @KmH , do you have any pointers or can you lead me to a tutorial that'll teach me how to color these things?

View attachment 116033
The most effective RGB technique is to use red, green, and blue filters in turn to make images for the stack and then combine them post process.
Note in the Integration list in post #9, and the info on the other images, that most of the image data was recorded using a narrow band Ha filter (hydrogen alpha - 656.28 nm) which was supplemented with additional R,B, and G frames.
Of course hydrogen is, by far, the most abundant element in the universe.

I've mentioned before that making high quality astrophotographs is a lot of work, quite technical, and not easy.
Awesome Astronomy - L+RGB Processing

The Deep-sky Imaging Primer
 

FITBMX

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Super cool info!:1219:

I have to get an adaptor so I can put my camera on my telescope, which already has a tracker, and I have color filters. It isn't great telescope, but it will be fun to try. :)

Thanks for all the work of posting this! :clap:
 

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well well, very good ! That picture is gorgeous!
 

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