"Digital Observing & Imaging" from a downtown back-yard

Ottawa Valley Astronomy Observers Group (OAOG) Ottawa Astronomy Friends (OAFs) Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) RASC Ottawa

In heavily light-polluted downtown Ottawa, Canada, I image with an SBIG ST-8XME camera (@ f/~6.3 in B&W), and observe with MallinCam X2 B&W and Solar System Imager (SSIm - yes, I prefer monochrome), all on a polar-aligned, fork-mounted, modified Meade 10" LX200-GPS SCT (f/10), equiped with an Optec TCF-Si motor focuser ... as well as an Orion EON 120mm APO refractor (f/7.5) on a HEQ5 Pro mount. Out of town I enjoy a Meade 8" LX-200 GPS and a Meade 6" ETX-LS SCT (both f/10) with the Mallin cameras, plus the Orion EON. In all cases, I prefer to observe/image in B&W. Using the SBIG camera, self-guiding is seamless with SBIG remote guide head and e-Finder directly cabled to the main camera. The SCT and the ST-8XME are remotely controlled with The Sky X Pro 10.2.x. I use Baader Planetarium 7nm H-Alpha and OIII filters with the ST-8XME and the MC-X2. During daylight I enjoy observing our nearest star with a Coronado SolarMax II 90mm H-Alpha scope, both visually and with the SSIm. All image processing is done using various combinations of Nebulosity v2.5, Sigma Clip v10, FITS Liberator v3, CCDSoft v5.x, Registax 6 and PhotoShop CS5 + Carboni Actions ... and sometimes none at all ... just to show you what I really see live at the scope !!

 Updated April 12th, 2014


 NEW IMAGES :

Moon      Schroeter's Valley, Kepler crater, Marius shield volcano field (pimples) and Reiner Gamma

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Stack of 11 x 1.5ms frames, April 12th 2014

Moon      N & E Imbrium

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Stack of 11 x 1.5ms frames, April 9th 2014

Moon      SE Imbrium

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Stack of 11 x 1.5ms frames, April 9th 2014

Moon      S polar region

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Stack of 11 x 1.5ms frames, April 9th 2014

Jupiter & Mars      

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/25 : Stacks of 48x8ms and 9x5ms frames, respectively, April 6th 2014 ... I think the large dark area on Mars is Syrtis Major

The Sun     "cathedral arch" prominence in upper chromosphere

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Single 20ms frame, April 6th 2014 ... H-Alpha using 1000 Oaks system

M081     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

M082     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

M097     Owl planetary nebula in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

M106     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

M108     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

M109     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014 ... note PGC 4011292 (mag 18.6) right of centre

NGC 2841     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

NGC 3079     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014 ... note NGC 3073 (mag 13.0) top left and PGC 28990 (mag 15.4) left of  centre

NGC 3184     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

NGC 3198     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

NGC 3631     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

NGC 3953     spiral galaxy in Ursa Major

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014

NGC 4217     spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 31st 2014 ... note NGC 4226 (mag 13.5) in-line with PGC 4537080 (mag 16.3) at lower centre

  OLDER IMAGES :

 The Sun     high amplitude "stacked" prominence in upper chromosphere

SSIm on Coronado SM II 90 @ f/8.8 : Stack of 13x10ms frames, September 19th, 2013


The Sun     high amplitude prominence in upper chromosphere

SSIm on Coronado SM II 90 @ f/8.8 : Stack of 5x10ms frames, October 12th, 2013


 The Sun     mega-granulation and filaments in chromosphere

SSIm on Coronado SM II 90 @ f/8.8 : Stack of 23 avi frames, September 14th, 2013


 

The Sun           Sunspots in white light

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Single frames (2ms, 5ms, 2ms, 1ms), March 30th 2014 ... Sunspot groups, granulation. faculae and limb darkening


Saturn    frame stack + wavelets

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/25 : Stack of 283/1400 x 100ms avi frames, May 20th 2013



Jupiter       GRS, festoons and Europa's shadow

SSIm on 10" SCT @ f/10 & f/25 : January & February, 2014


Moon         Alpine Valley region

SSIm on 6" SCT @ f/10 : Stack of 38x13ms frames, March 22nd 2013


M001    Crab Nebula in Taurus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 32x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


M013 Globular cluster in Hercules

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 19x2 minute median combined exposures, binned 2x2, June 18th 2011 - for Michèle (1951-2011)


M027      Dumbell planetary nebula in Vulpecula

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 24x5 minute median combined exposures, July 24th 2013


sM031 core of Andromeda spiral galaxy in Andromeda

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Single 5 minute exposure, binned 2x2, November 2010


M033 Pinwheel spiral galaxy in Triangulum

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 13x5 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010


M042 bright nebula in Orion

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 93x30 seconds median combined exposures, binned 2x2, December 2010


 M051 Whirlpool spiral galaxies in Canes Venatici

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 40x2 minutes added exposures, binned 2x2, Easter 2011



M057      Ring Nebula in Lyra

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 10x5 minutes median combined exposures, binned 2x2, July 15th 2013



M061       spiral galaxy + optical "neighbours"

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013 ... cf M-51 (mirrored) !!!


M063 Sunflower spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 17x2 minute median combined exposures, binned 2x2, early June 2011


M064 Black-Eye spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 16x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, early June 2011


M066 spiral galaxy in Leo

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 9x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, March 2011


M074     spiral galaxy in Pisces

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 28x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2011


M076   planetary nebula in Perseus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 21x2 minute median combined exposures, binned 2x2, December 2011


M094     Crocodile's Eye spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 23rd 2014


M099       irregular spiral galaxy

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013


M101       Pinwheel spiral galaxy

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 3rd 2013



Abell PN 21   Medusa planetary nebula in Gemini

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 22x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


Abell PN 71     planetary nebula(?) & associated diffuse nebulosity in Cygnus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 28x5 minute median combined exposures, binned 2x2, September 2013


IC 405 N part of Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 31x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012

IC 405 S part of Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 31x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


IC 434 Horsehead Nebula in Orion

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 18x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


IC 443 Winter Veil supernova remnant in Gemini

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 10x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, March 2011


IC 5146  Cocoon Nebula (open cluster with reflection/emission nebulosity) in Cygnus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 20x5 minute averaged exposures, binned 2x2, July 24th 2013


NGC 772 irregular spiral galaxy in Aries

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 39x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2011


NGC 891 edge-on spiral galaxy in Andromeda

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 13x5 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010


NGC 1491    nebulosity in Perseus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 31x2 minute sigma-clipped exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


NGC 1514   Planetary nebula in Taurus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 13x4 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010


NGC 1907  Open cluster in Auriga

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 25x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, January 2012


NGC 2244 Core of Rosette Nebula in Monoceros

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 8x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, March 2011


 

NGC 2261     Hubble's variable nebula in Monoceros

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 40 second frame, March 23rd 2014


NGC 2264       Cone Nebula in Monoceros

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 25x5 minute averaged exposures, binned 2x2, February 4th, 2013  A tiny touch of frost at mid-top ... what the heh!



NGC 2392     Eskimo planetary nebula in Gemini

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 10 second frame, March 23rd 2014 ... plus camera zoom x2


NGC 4216       edge-on spiral galaxy + optical "neighbours"

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013


NGC 4274       inner ring in spiral galaxy

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 11th 2013


NGC 4302       edge-on "Safety Pin" spiral galaxy + neighbour

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013


NGC 4535       face-on spiral galaxy

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013


NGC 4565       classic edge-on spiral galaxy + optical "neighbour"

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 11th 2013


NGC 4567       "The Mice" : colliding spiral galaxies

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 11th 2013


NGC 4762       edge-on spiral galaxy + "neighbour"

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 10th 2013


NGC 4874       "Galaxy Central"

MC-X2 on 6" SCT @ f/3.3 : Single 60 second frame, May 11th 2013 ... each of the tens of "out-of-focus 'stars'" is a galaxy - just how many are there in this galactic cluster?

NGC 6041 Galaxy cluster Abell 2151 in Hercules

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 27x2 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, early June 2011 - 650 million light years distant !!


NGC 6894 "Engagement Ring" planetary nebula in Cygnus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 5x5 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010 - minor blooming


NGC 6946 spiral galaxy in Cepheus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 51x2 minute median combined exposures, binned 2x2, July 2011


NGC 6888     Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : 32x5 minute in H-Alpha + 36x5 minute in OIII, both binned 2x2, October 12th, 2013


NGC 6992 NGC 6992 Veil Nebula in Cygnus  

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 74x2 minute averaged exposures, binned 1x1, August 2012


NGC 7008    planetary nebula in Cygnus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 33x5 minute averaged exposures, binned 2x2, September 2013


NGC 7217 Ring galaxy in Pegasus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 12x5 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010


NGC 7331 spiral galaxy in Pegasus

ST8-XME on 10" SCT : Stack of 12x5 minute added exposures, binned 2x2, November 2010



NGC 7380 NGC 7380 star-forming nebula and open cluster in Cepheus

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 64x2 minute added exposures, binned 1x1, late September 2012


NGC 7635 NGC 7635 Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia

ST8-XME w/7nm H-Alpha filter on 10" SCT : Stack of 58x2 minute added exposures, binned 1x1, early August 2012


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