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Astrophotography Presentation

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Hahnenberg Observatory in Michigan presents information for those interested in building a domed observatory, learning about the different kinds of telescopes and CCD cameras available. Sample ...

Hahnenberg Observatory in Michigan presents information for those interested in building a domed observatory, learning about the different kinds of telescopes and CCD cameras available. Sample astrophotographs, and types of CCD software, are also included in the presentation.

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     Astrophotography Presentation Astrophotography Presentation Presentation Transcript

    • Ed Hahnenberg, BA, MA, MA, Ed.S.
    •  80 mm tracking scope 14” Meade LX200 ACF TELESCOPE
    •  There were two choices to achieve a place for a permanent pier 1. Use of slide-off roof 2. Use of a dome
    •  I could not see myself sitting in freezing weather without a roof over my head. I chose the dome with a heater inside. Cutting hole for pier…
    •  Tracking DSOs No setup time Parking the scope Use of CCD camera (Charge-coupled Device)
    •  Photography of astronomical objects  When we add to this problems brings many difficult problems as with light pollution, quality of compared to the photography as optics (even smallest most people know. The exposure imperfections are clearly visible times can be very long (even tens of in case of photographing stars) minutes) and the lenses, or telescopes and the used, typically characterized with big weather, astrophotography focal lengths (thousands of appears to be very difficult. millimeters). This means that the  What is more, there are the photographed objects must be well same problems as in the guided during the exposure and that "normal" photography. One of the noise (that increases with the them is the high dynamic range exposure time) can spoil the efforts. of the photographed objects.
    • PolyDome, headquartered in Minnesota, ships the Exploradome anywhere in the US for $350. The dome cost $1414. Roof panels $418.
    • Dome is 8’ in diameter and revolves manually. Notice the permanent pier in the 4’ X 12” Sonotube.
    • Note the Schaub crew beginning the building process. Look carefully at the permanent pier with the pier plate atop.
    • The Schaub crew took exactly 1 ½ days to complete the entire project.
    •  The Explora-Dome will mount on top of the add- on room. Angled framing was necessary for roof panels.
    • Scope is inside dome, mounted on permanent pier, pier plate, and Meade Ultrawedge.
    • A 10’ 6” X 36” piece of aluminum flashing was cut to drain west to prevent rain and melting snow from leaking into the original shed. No leaks yet…
    • A specially cut steel door with padlock and chain added later provide security for the two room observatory.
    •  SXVF M25 single-shot color camera The new SBIG STL11000MCC2 Camera – March, 2010
    •  The color camera DFK 21 has an ultra-fast 60 frames per second for planetary or lunar imaging.
    • SBIG PRODUCES HIGH ENDCAMERAS. HAHNENBERGOBSERVATORY ACQUIREDAN SBIG ST-4000XCM 2 CCDCAMERA IN JAN. 2009. STARLIGHT EXPRESS – MX 716…MONOCHROME CAMERA ONCE OWNED BY HAHNENBERG OBSERVATORY
    • SBIG STL 11000M STL 11000CM  SBIG STL-11000CM Color CCD Camera is self-guiding, as is the monochrome version.
    •  In recent years, webcam imaging has become increasingly popular among amateur astronomers. It is easy to see why: they are inexpensive (< $100) and it is possible, with practice, to produce some truly amazing images. Keep in mind that webcams cannot be used "out of the box" for astro-imaging. Youll have to do some tinkering before you can use a webcam on your telescope.
    •  Meade engineers have The user-friendly invented a remarkable new astrophotography way to reduce noise without revolution continued with the introduction of a cooling fan. This means you can stack exposures for the new DSI III. It hours at a time. The thermal combines ease-of-use with a 1.4 megapixel monitoring sensors automatically match your chip, higher resolution, dark frames to ambient wider field of view and temperature. lower thermal noise.
    •  The software includes a zoom feature for easier focusing and the square pixels of the new larger chip make processing simpler and images more beautiful than ever. The camera is difficult to purchase today.
    •  Autoguiding has revolutionized  Problem solved. The the capture of deep-sky images by StarShoot AutoGuider mechanizing the tedious and tiring provides a user-friendly, method of "manually" guiding an dedicated autoguiding exposure, which involved staring system for long-exposure endlessly into an illuminated astrophotography. Its reticle eyepiece while tweaking compatible with virtually your mounts electronic drive any mount equipped with controls by hand to keep the stars an autoguider port and pinpoint sharp. Until now, the comes with the software problem has always been the lack and cables needed to work of a simple, affordable autoguider right out of the box! camera to do the job.
    •  The Autoguider is inserted into an 80 mm telescope mounted to the main scope.
    •  The Guider tracks a target star to keep the scope dead-on for the Meade DSI III CCD camera to image the desired planet or DSO.
    • MY ORION 8” NEWTONIANREFLECTOR REFLECTORS ARE GREAT FOR VIEWING FAINT, DEEP-SKY OBJECTS LIKE GALAXIES, STAR CLUSTERS AND NEBULA.
    • THE DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE AN ORION 6” DOBSON  The basic idea driving the original design is to make large aperture telescopes affordable, easy to make, and portable. It is a combined concept that allows the builder with minimal skill to make an extremely large telescope out of common items found in any hardware store or scrap yard.
    • REFRACTORS ORION 60 MM REFRACTOR These are telescopes that use refracting lenses housed in a long, thin tube mounted on a tripod. Refractors are great for viewing the sun, moon and planets where magnification detail is important but brightness is not. Upright images.
    • MEADE 14” SCHMIDTCOMPOUND OR CADIOPTRIC CASSEGRAIN Compound scopes use both refracting lenses and reflecting mirrors in their design to provide a compact form factor. They include those of Schmidt, Cassegrain (Cass), Maksutov (Mak) and hybrid designs.
    • Attached to it is the Solar H-alpha telescope for viewing the sun’s flares, prominences, and sunspot activity…Coronado PST… and an 80 mm guide scope.
    • DESKTOP COMPUTER CONTROLS TELESCOPE MEADE 14” ATOP PIER INSIDEMOVEMENT, FOCUSING, AND IMAGING. ROTATING DOME.
    • INSIDE THE DOME – LADDERWATCH YOUR HEAD! NEEDED AT TIMES.
    • CONTROL PANEL AND LATITUDE SETTING ANDCAMERA FOCUSER WEDGE CONTROL
    • STAR CHART 2000 DETAILED STAR CHART
    • The larger the mm of the eyepiece the wider and smaller the magnification. The illuminated reticle has red crosshairs for accurate centering.
    • Many nights the atmosphere contains high humidity, thus resulting in a fogging over of themain imaging scope. Dew heaters, or more simple dew shields, are used to prevent this. It is attached to the end of the scope
    • Additional eyepieces, connecting rings, collimeter, and several filters (mainly for planets and lunar use) are stored in handy cases.
    • My newest imaging equipment
    •  HyperStar is the easiest way to capture deep-sky astrophotos. The HyperStar* unit is a multiple-lens corrector which replaces the secondary mirror on a Schmidt- Cassegrain telescope and allows extremely fast CCD imaging. Depending on the size of the telescope, the resulting focal ratio will be between f/1.8 and f/2.0, up to 31 times faster than imaging at f/10! Removing the secondary mirror and installing the HyperStar lens is very quick and easy. No tools are required and switching between the HyperStar and regular f/10 modes of the telescope takes only a couple minutes. HyperStar provides the easiest and fastest means of imaging deep-sky celestial objects!
    •  Adjusting finderscope and main scope Hahnenberg Observatory Clear Skies forecast Collimation of Hyperstar lens Focus telescope Computer powered up & Scope polar-aligned Selection of object to image Maxim DL and Photoshop (latest version) Picture taking (30 sec upwards X 30+) Processing
    •  In order to get an image to correctly reflect what the viewer sees without a scope the photographed image has to be tipped upside down, then turned to face the opposite direction, or reversed. Software does this easily. The "incorrect" image in a telescope has to do with the way in which certain kinds of telescopes view the object. To get a correct image with a telescope, as one in binoculars, would require far larger instruments due to the optics of the mirrors inside.
    •  One of the most surprising discoveries first-time telescope owners will find is that images may appear upside-down or backwards depending on the type of telescope. The first thought is the telescope is broken - when in fact it is working perfectly normal. Depending on the type of telescope images may appear correct, upside- down, rotated, or inversed from left to right. For astronomical viewing, it is not important whether an object is shown
    • Rotate dome to take imageThe dome has a slide-back cover and a fold-down opening togive a 28” window X 90 degrees of the sky.
    •  Deep Sky Object (DSO) is a term used by astronomers to describe mostly faint astronomical objects outside the solar system, such as star clusters, nebulae, or galaxies. They are hundreds to billions of light-years distant from Earth.  The Messier objects are a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters published in 1771. There are 110 Messier objects.
    •  The NGC contains 7,840 objects, known as the NGC objects. It is one of the largest comprehensive catalogs, as it includes all types of deep space objects and is not confined to, for example, galaxies. IC stands for Index Catalogue, and is a catalog of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters that is a supplement to the New General Catalogue.
    •  The Abell catalog of rich clusters of galaxies is an all-sky catalog of 4,073 galaxy clusters Like constellations, asterisms are in most cases composed of stars which, while they are visible in the same general direction, are not physically related, often being at significantly different distances from Earth. The mostly simple shapes and few stars make these patterns easy to identify.
    • Andromeda is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. It is visible as a faint smudge on a moonless night. M31 contains one trillion stars, more than the number of stars in our own galaxy, about 200-400 billion.
    • M 51& 52 – WhirlpoolGalaxyThe Whirlpool Galaxy a popular target forprofessionals, who study it to further understand galaxystructure with spiral arms.
    • The Pinwheel Galaxy– M101An edge-on galaxy that I used aDDP technique to bring some detailout.
    • NGC 6946 is a spiral galaxy about 22 million light-years away, on the border between the constellationsCepheus and Cygnus
    • M81 is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. M81 is one of the most striking examples of a grand design spiral galaxy, with near perfect arms spiraling into the very center.
    • M101 is a face-on spiral galaxy distanced 25 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major,[
    • M 104 has a big bright core. It also has an unusually pronounced bulge withan extended and richly populated globular cluster system - several hundred can be counted in long exposures from big telescopes.
    • The Hercules Cluster
    • A double star
    • A barred spiral galaxy
    • M17 is located in the rich starfields of the Sagittarius area of the Milky Way.It is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light- years in diameter.
    • M20 is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparentgaps within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance. It is approximately 7,600 light years away.
    • M27 is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light years.
    • M 57is one of the most prominent examples of the deep-sky objects called planetary nebulae
    • The Horsehead Nebula , in the constellation Orion, is approximately 1500 light years from Earth.
    • 30 sec. exposure
    • The nebula is the remnant of a supernova explosion seen in 1054 AD. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-yearsfrom Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 ly and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers per second.
    • M13 is about 145 light-years in diameter, and it is composed of several hundred thousand stars, M13 is 25,100 light-years away from Earth.
    • The Eagle Nebula is a young is a star-forming nebula. It is about 6,500 lys distant.
    • 10 min. exposure stacked – 9-2-2011
    • At high magnification, the moon moves extremelyrapidly, but a Go-To scope may have a lunar tracking speedcontrol. When observing the moon at high magnification, afilter is necessary to cut down on the brightness. This is notnecessary for CCD imaging.
    • Apollo 15 was the fourth landing on the Moon and was the first to use the Lunar Rover Vehicle. Landed on Moon July 30, 1971.
    • Crescent shapes can be waxing or waning…
    •  The Imaging Source cameras are excellent lunar and planetary cameras. The DFK 21AU04.AS can create an avi file that is basically a movie of live images. 30 frames per second can yield 1800 images from which to choose or to stack. Stacking with Registax or other software can give a final picture with user-defined thresholds.
    • One of many lunar images taken with the DSI III CCD camera. Moon in ½ crescent stage. No filter used. Exposure less than .02 of a second.
    • Plato is the maria-surfaced remains of a lunar imapact crater. The age of the Plato walled-plain is about 3.84 billion years
    • Lunar image – DSI III
    •  Dome is rain and snow- proof, but getting there in a heavy snow season is by snowmobile.
    • THE PERSONAL SOLARTELESCOPE IMAGE OF SUN IN H-ALPHA
    • Photographing the sunViewing the sun is very dangerous in a telescope. NEVER DO IT without afilter, for both the finderscope and main scope.
    • Nikon Coolpix 995, ISO 100, f/4.6/ and at 1/88th of a second
    • Images such as this are possible with our Coronado solar telescope.
    • Nikon Coolpix 995 attached with T-ring and using a solar filter.
    • Coronado h-alpha telescope picture
    •  JPEG IMAGES FITS IMAGES (Joint Photographic Experts Group) An  The standard data format used in astronomy ISO/ITU standard for compressing still  Stands for Flexible Image Transport images. JPEGs are saved on a sliding System resolution scale based on the quality  Endorsed by NASA and the International desired. For example, an image can be Astronomical Union saved in high quality for photo printing, in  Much more than just another image format (such as JPEG or GIF) medium quality for the Web and in low  Used for the transport, analysis, and quality for attaching to e-mails, the latter archival storage of scientific data sets providing the smallest file size for fastest transmission over dial-up connections.
    • BMP IMAGES GIF IMAGES Short for "Bitmap." The BMP format stores color data for each pixel in the  The letters "GIF" actually stand for image without any compression. For "Graphics Interchange Format.” GIFs are example, a 10x10 pixel BMP image will based on indexed colors, which is a include color data for 100 pixels. This palette of at most 256 colors. This helps method of storing image information allows for crisp, high-quality greatly reduce their file size. These graphics, but also produces large file compressed image files can be quickly sizes. transmitted over a network or the Internet, which is why you often see them on Web pages. GIF files lack the color range to be used for high-quality photos.
    •  There are many astrophotography image programs. Astroart, Photoshop, Maxim DL, Astrostack, Registax, CCD Soft and dedicated programs included in telescope company’s software such as Meade’s AutoStar Suite. Their function is to align and sharpen images.
    •  Planet comes from the Greek word πλανήτοs, which means “wanderer.” In order to take a picture of a planet, one must be aware there is a different motion speed and direction than that of the moon or stars. So, there is planetary motion, lunar motion, and sidereal motion.
    •  Fortunately, with CCD cameras, one does not have tracking problems, because images are taken in 100ths or thousandths of a second. Digital or film cameras are less sensitive to light, so one might need to use a shutter control.
    • Experimenting with exposure time and gain control gives different results. This image was a BMP image of less than ½ a second.
    • Rings of JupiterAlthough extremely hard to see, Jupiter does have rings plus63 moons. Four moons are usually visible.
    • Saturn will tilt its rings during 2009 so that no rings were visible in 2010. Bummer!
    • Venus was in 60% crescent stage. DSI III image at less than .01 second. No features are visible unless filter is used.
    • Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. The planet is one of Earths "next-door neighbors" in space. Earth is the thirdplanet from the sun, and Jupiter is the fifth. Like Earth, Jupiter, the sun, and the remainder of the solar system, Mars is about 4.6 billion years old. It has ice at its polar caps.
    • Uranus is 1.7 billion miles away from earth, between Saturn and Neptune.All four gas planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) have rings, although Saturn’s are the most spectacular.
    • Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in our Solar System. Named for the Roman god ofthe sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, It is 2.7 billion miles away from Earth.
    • After several years of reading books, blogs, and upgradingequipment, I still consider myself a beginning astrophotographer.Each year technology in the amateur astronomy field comes outwith new cameras, software, and telescopes. Let’s look in detail athow to take DSOs worthy of publication.
    • The Hubble Telescope has provided some spectacularimages of the 500,000 known galaxies, each with 100billion to our own Milky Way’s 400 billion stars. Thefollowing frames are a sampling of what lies aroundus…
    • M16 – The Eagle NebulaAppearing like a winged fairy-talecreature poised on a pedestal, thisobject is actually a billowing tower ofcold gas and dust rising from a stellarnursery called the Eagle Nebula. Thesoaring tower is 9.5 light-years orabout 57 trillion miles high, abouttwice the distance from our Sun to thenext nearest star.
    • M104 – SombreroGalaxy Hubble easily resolves M104s rich system of globular clusters, estimated to be nearly 2,000 in number -- 10 times as many as orbit our Milky Way galaxy. The ages of the clusters are similar to the clusters in the Milky Way, ranging from 10-13 billion years old.
    • Omega CentauriOmega Centauri is so large inour sky that only a small partof it fits within the field ofview of the Hubble SpaceTelescope. Yet even this tinypatch contains some 50,000stars, all packed into a regiononly about 13 light-yearswide. For comparison, asimilarly sized regioncentered on the Sun wouldcontain about a half dozenstars.
    • The Helix NebulaIt is similar in appearance to the RingNebula, whose size, age, and physicalcharacteristics are similar to theDumbbell Nebula, varying only in itsrelative proximity and the appearancefrom the equatorial viewing angle. TheHelix has often been referred to as theEye of God on the Internet, sinceabout 2003.
    • NGC 2440The star is ending its life bycasting off its outer layers ofgas, which formed a cocoonaround the stars remainingcore. Ultraviolet light from thedying star makes the materialglow. The burned-outstar, called a white dwarf, is thewhite dot in the center.
    • Supernova 1987a – Will it be seen in daylight?1987A was generated by a star 20 times more massive than the Sun. Itresides in a nearby galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. Becauseof the time it takes light from the event to reach Hubble, the explosionactually occurred 160,000 years ago, in the time frame of its origin.
    • We are looking at an image that is no longer there as shown, but was 7000 light years ago.The universe continues to expand, faster outward each day. It will end not with a bang, but with a whimper, according to scientists and T.S. Elliot. Pillars has become one of the most famous images of modern times.
    • This color photo was made from three images taken on April 9, 2007
    •  While over three hundred exoplanets have been discovered WHAT A CANADIAN TEAM FOUND IN 2004, AND CONFIRMED AGAIN by noting wobble of NOV, 2008, ARE THREE PLANETS CIRCLING THE STAR. host stars, a trio of ACCORDING TO A THEORETICAL exoplanets have been MODEL THAT ACCOUNTS FOR THE LIGHT COMING FROM THE directly imaged. PLANETS, THEY RANGE IN SIZE FROM FIVE TO 13 TIMES THE MASS OF JUPITER AND ARE PROBABLY ONLY ABOUT 60 MILLION YEARS OLD.
    • HUBBLE IS ONLY 353 MILESFROM EARTH. LAUNCHED 1990. The $4.5bn telescope will take up a position some 930,000 miles from Earth. It will measure 80ft long by 40ft high and incorporate a hexagonal mirror 21.3ft in diameter, almost three times the size of Hubbles. It will be launched in June 2013 and have a 10 yr. life. THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE…BETWEEN EARTH AND SUN, AND PAST MOON.
    • My real stars ….My real stars…Matt, Marie, and Ben … along withTherese, Ed, Liz, Nick, Rose, and my wife Marlene.
    • Be sure to keep up with our website:www.astronomy-leelanau.blogspot.com.