Last week, my family and I took a trip out to Galena, IL – about 3 hours West of Chicago. My wife and I frequent the area, but this was the first time we were taking the kids along. I took a video a couple days before we left, talking about my plans to shoot 2+ hours of the Eastern Veil Nebula in Chicago and then 2+ hours of the same object from Bortle 3 skies in Galena. I knew there would be a huge difference and I’d need to find a way to get to dark skies more often.Read more
Category: Imaging Examples and Tips
SNR for Morons and how to Get Your Best Ratio in Light Polluted Skies
Noise mitigation for OSC (One-shot Color) Cameras in polluted skies
We all know that SNR is the Signal to Noise Ratio, and that more signal and less noise is good, right? OK, if you didn’t know that, you do now.Read more
Image Processing in Photoshop
Bringing Your Time and Effort to Life
You’ve just spent hours, or even days or weeks collecting data for your latest object. You stack up all of your light frames with your calibration frames (darks, flats and BIAS) in DeepSkyStacker and let it do it’s thing. What comes out is a very dim view of your object, or a even what looks like a red hazy image with no object at all. If you did the first part of the job right, your data is in there, I promise. How do you pull that data out in the most effective way possible? Well, I’m sorry to say there is no magic bullet because everybody’s data is different. However, there are methodologies, workflows, and tools to help you along.Read more
Imaging from Late Summer Into Fall (waiting for Orion season)
So you’ve gotten through the Milky Way objects in Sagittarius and they’ve have started to fade off to the West. After that marathon, you might be wondering where to go next. Don’t worry, so many great objects are in prime spots, or are coming up!Read more
PHD2 Polar Alignment Tool – Use It!
…If the celestial pole is visible.Read more
Anomalies Last Night!
It’s not a plane. It’s not a meteor. It’s not even a satellite. What is it? No, it is not little green men either. A few weeks ago I captured this while imaging M16, the Eagle Nebula. It’s probably something the size of a grain of sand skipping on, or burning up in the atmosphere. It just happened to be exactly in the middle of my frame.
Move up to last night and I saw something really odd that I’m trying to trace. So, if you were imaging in Cepheus, namely the Elephant’s Trunk. last night (7/30-31 11:20PM-11:36PM Central US) and saw something similar, let me know.Read more
Even More About Light Pollution
As July wears on, I’ve had several nights out imaging, and most of them successful. This, despite the fact that the targets I’m shooting are about 24-32 degrees high and directly over the selection in the image below.Read more
64-bit Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) is Here!!
Version 4.2.1 is out now and has many speed enhancements over the initial 64bit release (link at the bottom).
I stumbled upon this last night after not imaging for a couple weeks due to weather. There are no release notes on the version, but I’ve been waiting for this since I started, so I went ahead and downloaded it. So far, so good. The look and feel are basically the same with only slight visual tweaks.Read more