Welcome to my Astrophotography Blog!

This is a journal of my adventures in astrophotography -- taking images of distant celestial objects. Please look around and feel free to add your comments, questions, and critique to any of the entries by clicking the "comments" button on the bottom of each entry -- or just say "howdy!

And don't forget to click on the images for a larger view!

So choose either the Red pill or the Blue pill and follow me down the wormhole....


Comanche Springs Star Party

Comanche Springs Star Party
Doin' my thang at the Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (where I often become a "red ghost")

Dallas Sky

Rancho Venado Sky

Atoka Sky

Camanche Springs Sky

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Crabs and Whirlpools

Well, I tried to go for some very far and faint objects but they are just too dim for my current gear.

Here is the Crab Nebula. Not much detail (kinda looks like a red thumbprint). Granted, this is a difficult object and I DO actually have some data here. But this represents the current limits of my rig. What are the limits?

Exposure time.

This example of the Whirlpool galaxy suffers the same problem. Although not bad (you can easily see the definition of the spiral arms and the companion galaxy), but there is little fine detail and lots of noise.

How to get more exposure time? Ultimately I need a different mount -- an Equatorial mount.

My current Alt-Az fork can aim and track, but not ROTATE with the sky. So I am limited to about 30-45 sec. exposures before I get sky rotation (and blurred stars). Even with stacking, I can't rise enough beyond the ceiling of noise. So, time to find some brighter objects while saving up $$ for a new mount!


ksaxon said...

I'm looking forward to more crabs and whirlpools please! Crabcakes and hot jet whirlpools are preferred.

Bob Eggleton (Zillabob) said...

I like whirlpools myself but I hear you can GET CRABS in them especially after too many people having been there. Ah, but really. Nice crabs and whirlpools.

dave t said...

nice pic! pretty nice for a short exp on the alt-azi mount

i've seen that celestron german equatorial mount thats out that'll fit your tube and it looks sweet

great blog!

I am JOhn said...

Thanks Dave!

My new equatorial mount arrives tomorrow. I sprung for the Takahashi EM-200 (along with the FSQ refractor). It's clobberin' time!