clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Imaging in Wind

Winters in Ohio can be a bit breezy, although not so bad as some parts of the country especially out west on the prairies.  The past 2 nights we have seen 20 - 30 MPH wind, but the skies were clear for the most part.  Even with the wind, I had to try to image some things.  Only when the images were combined would I know not to try again under these conditions.

On 1/8/2013, I imaged a few objects using the Canon T3.  I havent used that camera in quite some time.  My hope is to send the camera in to have it modified for astro use.  I wanted to compare this camera to the 300D for resolution and overall quality.  I chose objects that are not rich with hydrogen alpha emission, so the targets were primarily star clusters and galaxies.

Here are a couple of images that I captured with the T3 (1100D)

I began with NGC 869 & NGC 884, the Double Cluster in Perseus.  This image contains a stack of 10 frames, 3 minutes each in duration at iso 800.  I noticed right away that there is a red shift in the center of the image.  I'm not certain that is a camera issue or if it has to do with local light pollution.  I do not believe I had my CLS filter installed for this image, but I did install it before shooting the next image...

M42 was then attempted.  This image gave me some insight as to the resolution that was possible with this camera.  The trapezium was better resolved using 5 second exposures for the core.  The stars do seem to be a bit bloated, although the focusing mask said my focus was spot on.  It was windy when this image was taken, so that could be why the stars were a bit "big".

My last image of the evening of 1/18 was this one of M105.  This is a cropped image showing the 3 galaxy cluster.

M105, according to Stellarium is the galaxy on the right.  Being these 3 galaxies are only a few arc minutes apart, I wonder if the 3 galaxies all belong to M105, as through an eyepiece I would think that they would appear as a fuzzy blob.  I did attempt to look through an eyepiece, but my ambient light was too bright and I didn't see the galaxies visually.
On the 19th, I imaged again.  I shot some videos of the moon and of Jupiter.  The Jupiter image did not come out too well, most likely because of seeing and the wind, which was even worse on the 19th than on the 18th.  Jupiter showed very little detail, the oval BA was visible as well as the prominent bands and zones, but with little detail in them.

The moon was also imaged, using the T3.  Clouds started blowing in, and the final video of the moon would not stack properly.

An hour or 2 later, the sky cleared, so I took the 300D out and imaged the galaxy NGC2903 in Leo.  I discovered a USB port problem in my imaging laptop, which lost connection halfway through my imaging sequence.  I only was able to obtain 5 frames out of 15 thaqt I had programmed, but still managed to come up with this image:

The stars are a little elongated most likely due to the wind.  The autoguider was going crazy, with tracking spikes that sometimes went off the graph.  The detail is still reasonable, especially with only 5 frames captured.