Monday, July 27, 2015

Yet another starfield

Yesterday between dusk and astronomical night I shot a few warm up frames. One of them was Messier 71 globular cluster in Sagitta constellation. It is only one 5 minutes exposure with new 130mm apogun, but outcome is decent - down to 18.5mag under suburbian sky. Also some distant galaxy has been recorded as seen through Milky Way stars and dusts.
M71 globular cluster and Harvard 20 open cluster below

M71 cluster crop

PGC86297 galaxy seen through Milky Way stars (little right and below center)

Clear skies!

PS - I promise you next entry will be colorful :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Too many stars

Last night I caught a few almost cloudless moments, and was able to collect first frames using TS130 refractor with 0.79x reducer. The proper distance to sensor has been adjusted, and here it is 50 minutes with M27 Dumbbell nebula:
M27 Dumbbel nebula

1:1 crop at 1.5"/px scale
Collected under about 5mag sky, 10x5 minutes with L filter, Atik 383, TS130 f/7 with 0.79x reducer.
Tests are done. Time to work :)

Clear skies!

Friday, July 17, 2015

TS 130/910 APO - first look, first light

TS apochromatic triplet 130mm f/7
New instrument onboard - after many years of picturing with newton telescopes I eventually decided to change to lenses. After a few emails with very nice and professional discussion with and few more days for selecting and adjusting the big gun arrived. Of course it is larger than expected, and it seems that 3/4 of its weight is placed in the lens cell. Refractor is well build, focuser is stiff and fits directly to the 2.5" 0.79x reducer using Zeiss M68 thread. Last night first light was possible, but only for a few minutes. I used Canon 550D attached to the focuser without reducer (still waiting for adapters) and pictured Albireo binary star. 

Albireo with TS130/910 and Canon 550D, single 10s exposure
Above it is a 1:1 crop from frame center. Picture scale is 0.97"/px, it means that small stars at the image have apparent diameter, like one cent coin seen from 2km distance.

Albireo with TS130/910, 20x10 seconds stack, crop 1:1

...and the full Canon 550D frame
I am very happy with the results, the stars are pinpoint, there is no visible color fringes, and with only 10 seconds exposures stars as faint as 15mag have been recorded (so about 3000x times fainter than stars visible with naked eye).
More images to come (hopefully) soon :)

Clear skies!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Barnard in red

Edward Emerson Barnard was an American astronomer. Among many astronomy activities he was also pioneering astrophotographer. He cataloged a series of dark nebulae, known as Barnard objects. This catalog contains 351 objects and was published first time in the 1919. 
Barnard 343 (larger, to the right) and Barnard 344 (small, to the left) are two of them lurking in the Cygnus hydrogen clouds. The dark nebulae are actually a dust clouds that are not illuminated by any nearby light source, so it appears to be dark and obscures objects behind.
The large, bright area at the picture bottom is the LBN223 nebula.

Barnard 343 and 344 in Cygnus
Picture shot with 200/800 newtonian and Atik383L camera. HaRGB composite, 30x10 + 3x6x5 minutes.
Clear skies!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The hen's beak

Somewhere around 430 light years away in constellation of Cygnus there is an Albireo star. When you look at it with binoculars or larger instrument you will easily split it to two beautiful stars: one gold-orange and one blueish. It is a beautiful view and it is worth to find it out. 
This is the last light of my ATM newtonian - telescope found the new owner, and I found the new telescope. This time it will be a refractor. More news about it will come soon :)

Picture below is 3 minutes total exposure with RGB filters.

Albireo star in Cygnus
Clear skies!
Oh, the entry title is translated original medieval arabic name of this star: minqār al-dajāja