Monday, January 3, 2011

Cassiopeia to Taurus

Here is another widefield taken back in October at the Calstar event.  One great thing about astrophotography is that you can take data quicker than you I can process it.  This provides endless hours of "fun" back home when the rain clouds come or the moon visits.

Of course this can be mitigated with a proper understanding of the underlying principles of detector physics and processing methodology.  Combine this understanding with a smooth efficient workflow and now you can drastically shorten the time from camera to presentable image.  I'm not anywhere near that point yet so, well, there you go.

The more I learn the more how much I realize I dont' know.  Being curious by nature (and not a little bit obsessive) this drive me nuts.  So many variables and branch points along the way.  So many ways to attack the problem and so much equipment and software tools to throw at it.  Science, hardware, software, art, wonder, ... what's not to like!

This was taken with the 10-22mm EF-S lens at 14mm and stopped down to f5 to mitigate the worst of the vignetting and corner aberrations.  My camera isn't modified to have the IR cut filter removed so the hydrogen alpha regions are muted but even so there is a hint of what lies in those star clouds.  Also evident is intersteller de-blueing (or intersteller reddening if you like) which results in stars located in the dense Milky Way arm appearing redder than they actually are .  Open clusters galore and a couple of our closest galactic neighbors.

There is even a very special guest appearance by Comet Hartley-2 which was visited by the re-missioned Deep Impact (EPOXI) probe not long ago.  Here is a extra credit question for the nerds out there.  Can you guess the date the image was taken by the location of the comet?  Answer below in the image info.  We'll see Hartley-2 again in 2017 as he continues his rounds of the solar system.

Cassiopeia to Taurus.  Click image to see at full res.  Click here for flickr.
If you want to see a version without yellow text all over the place click here.

I have a couple more widefields yet to process along with a couple hours of M33 data sitting in a unopened folder.  Moon?  Rainclouds?  I can get my astronomy fix with or without you!

Taken at Lake San Antonio, CA  October 9, 2010
Canon T2i (stock), Canon EF-S 10-22mm @ 14mm  f5
Astrotrac Travel System Mount
33 120sec exposures @ ISO1600
128 dark frames from my library
no flatfielding, vignetting and gradients removed in PixInsight
128 bias frames
calibration, registration and post-processed in PixInsight

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