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Sunday, February 28, 2021

A new mosaic image from Taurus to Perseus 2009-2021

I have published several large mosaic images in past six months. This time my mosaic project took about 12 years to get finalized. 

49 individual panels are covering 36 x 11 degrees of sky, total exposure time is around 250 hours. Native resolution for the mosaic is 31.000 x 8.800 pixels.

There are several rarely seen objects in my mosaic, they are very dim and majority of the 250 hours of exposures was used for them. There are three supernova remnants in the panorama,  Simeis 147 at left, Sharpless 224 and Sharpless 221 are located at center of the image. They all are very dim but the Sharpless 221 is the most difficult one, it has an extremely low surface brightness and I think that my photo of Sh2-221 was the first three band color image out of it. Two large emission nebulae at right end of the mosaic must be the dimmest nebulae I have ever shot. 

From Taurus to Perseus 2009-2021
Click for a large image, it's worth it!


Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. 

Frames used for the large mosaic
Click for a large image

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

Details and Orientation
Click for large images





Links to some of the  individual images used in large panorama

Simeis 147



Sharpless 224 & 223




Sh2-221 & 216


Sharpless 205, NGC 1491 and  Lynds Bright Nebula 696

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Zooming in to an emission nebula Sharpless 132

 

Since I have shot many targets with various of focal lengths I'm able to make zoom in series out of my material. This is a nice way to show the fractal nature of our universe, there is always something new to see when the detail level gets higher.
This is also a good method to show the orientation and the scale in a large context. 


A zoom in series to the Sharpless 132, Sh2-132
Click for a large image (Note a large image, 1600 x 8500 pixels)


Optical configurations used for this image series, Before year 2015, Canon EF 200 mm f1.8, Baader narrowband set and QHY9 astro camera. For long focal length work Meade GPS 12". After 2015 Celestron EDGE 11", Tokina AT-x 300 mm f2.8, Apogee Ata U16 astro camera and Astrodon narrowband filters.

photos used for the zoom in series

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sharpless 132, sh2-132, with new data

 I have shot a large four panel mosaic out of the Sharpless 132 emission Nebula at february 2019. At the time I was using the Celestron EDGE 11" telescope with reducer.   Sh2-132 locates in the border of Cepheus and Lacerta at distance of about 10 000 ly. 

I shot same object with a shorter focal length  instrument, the Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera optics. Since the system is kind of undersampled, I got a very deep image of Sh2-132 just with four hours of exposures.

I have now combined those two images and the result has the best out of both worlds . All the high resolution details and the high signal to noise elements are from the long focal length photo and the dim background stuff is from short focal length photo. I have a new processing method to do this and it turned to be a very powerful for a work like this. I call it to VARES-method. Variable Resolution imaging. will be good tool when I want to go very deep very fast and have a high resolution details at the same time.
This is a way to combine best out of the correctly sampled and under sampled optical configurations!

I think this image is a good sample what VARES-technique can do.

Sharpless 132
Click for a large image

Sharpless 132 in mapped colors, from the emission of ionized elements,
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. (Hubble Palette)
A version with out VARES method can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2019/02/sharpless-132-sh2-132.html


A closeup 
Click for a large image




A wide field image of the Sharpless 132
Click for a large image

Sharpless 132 in mapped colors, from the emission of ionized elements,
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Image details can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-new-photo-of-sharpless-132-sh2-132.html

Technical details

Processing workflow
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens
Celestron EDGE 11" telescope with reducer

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x 2 and an old spotting scope of Meade LX200

Astrodon filters,
5nm H-alpha 3nm S-II and 3nm O-III

Total exposure time used for VARES-processing

Tokina camera optics
H-alpha, 6 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 2 h
O-III, 3 x 1200 s, binned 1x1 = 1 h
S-II, 3 x 1200 s, binned 2x2 = 1 h

Celestron telescope
Total exposure time for all of the four panels together
H-alpha, 48 x 1200 s, binned 2x2 = 16 h
O-III, 24 x 1200 s, binned 4x4 = 8 h.
S-II, 18 x 1200 s. binned 4x4 = 6 h





Monday, February 15, 2021

Zooming in to a heart of the Heart

 

Since I have shot many targets with various of focal lengths I'm able to make zoom in series out of my material. This is a nice way to show the fractal nature of our universe, there is always something new to see when the detail level gets higher.

A zoom in series to the Melotte 15 in the IC 1805, the Heat nebula
Click for a large image

Images are in mapped colors from the emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen.
NOTE, an apparent size of the Moon is marked in third photo for a scale.