Thursday, January 7, 2021

 I haven't heard from anyone lately so I'll just add a few of my Moon shots that I took before Christmas.  I was rushing to set up the scope in my driveway by the road to get the Jupiter / Saturn Conjunction as the clouds were coming in fast. Low in the sky by the western horizon where the event was taking place was a small hole in the clouds that lasted about 15 minutes. But just as I got it centered in my scope, a few neighbor families and their kids came to see what I was doing. For the next ten minutes I showed everyone the conjunction, to "Wow! I can see Saturn's ring and Jupiter's moons too".

Then it disappeared!

The clouds covered most of the sky, but I spent about fifteen minutes getting these shots of the moon before it too disappeared for the night. Since then only one or two nights were cloudless, with another night that was clear but with a lot of haze.

Keith






Friday, December 11, 2020

Al Ernst and Ron Gattie Combined Talents in Capturing The Saturn Nebula

This image of the Saturn Nebula was taken by friends and amateur astroimagers Al and Ron, using two C-14's. One scope is located at the St Joseph High School's observatory, where Ron used a Canon 50D to take 10x30 second subs, then Al combined them with 20 Oiii and Ha subs with his QSI583 that he took from his home observatory about ten miles apart. This shows what amateurs can achieve, even within the confines of a Bortle 6 sky.... using good equipment,skill and practice.

Thank Al and Ron

Keith





Thursday, December 10, 2020

Prepping for the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

I took this shot of Jupiter and Saturn on 10 Dec 2020 to prepare for the conjunction at my imaging site at a local town park. Mount set and marked.... cameras loaded and ready... astronomy equipment set aside... Township Parks and Recreation officials notified and attending...  local astrophotographers confirmed... batteries charged... Laptop set to go...!

This part of Hillsborough Township in central New Jersey is out in the country about five to ten miles from any small villages and boasts a wonderful  Bortle 4 to 5 sky! 

Here in this shot, the two planets are moving closer each night and hopefully, I will have everything set up and ready to go before the sun sets on the 21st. Otherwise, I may need to wait for the next time that these two planets will be this extremely close together again! 

Praying ~ No Clouds, No Clouds... NO CLOUDS!!!
 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Al Ernst's Elephant's Trunk taken in hydrogen alpha

 After seeing Kah Wai Lin's recent image of IC 1396, Al says he was motivated to take a Hydrogen alpha image specifically of  the Elephants Trunk. The targeted area can be seen in the lower middle of Kah Wai's image.  This required stitching together an upper and lower frame, each consisting of one hour of five minute subs.

He used his C14; a .7 focal reducer and QSI583 with narrowband Ha filter.

I find it amazing what persistent people are doing in Bortle 5 and 6 New Jersey!

Thanks, 

Keith





Monday, November 23, 2020

Kah Wai Lin is making good use of his new astro-camera and learning the use of new software

 

This image of the Elephant's Trunk and surrounding nebulosity is a reprocessed image using both PixInsight and Photoshop. He says he is sure he will reprocess it again as he is continuing to learn more with PixInsight... each time getting more out of the image.

The Elephant Trunk Nebula was captured using RedCat51 and ZWO ASI1600MM Pro on his Sky-Watcher Adventurer with auto-guiding. The image totals 4 hours (1 hour each in Luminance, Red, Green and Blue). His site in central New Jersey is Bortle5.

Thanks for sharing your progress.

Keith



This Tulip Nebula Image image was taken by long-time member Al Ernst


This is a mosaic image of the Tulip Nebula (Sharpless 101) taken from Al's backyard observatory in central New Jersey.
Sharpless 101 is a HII region emission nebula located in the constellation Cygnus and is about 6000ly from Earth.
He used a C14 telescope and a QSI-583 camera with a 6nm Ha narrow band filter. Due to the scope's limited field of view he stitched together two images using five minute subs for each.
Thank Al,
Keith

Monday, November 16, 2020

Kah Wai Lin's latest image of the North American Nebula

 I know Kah Wai has a new camera and he's been hard at work getting to learn how it handles. I believe this image was taken with his new ZWO ASI1600MM with a new LRGB filter wheel.


Nice results.

Keith

Monday, November 9, 2020

Kah Wai Lin's first attempt at LRGB ~ the Pleiades (M45)

 Kah Wai was imaging on the grounds of the observatory during yesterday's late-night hours, taking advantage of the darker skies. He was testing his new equipment and figured out the set up ~  below is his first attempt at LRGB imaging ~  Looks like everything is working pretty well! ~ Keith

Pleiades (M45)
Telescope: Willam Optics RedCat 51
Camera: ZWO ASI1600MM Pro
Mount: Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer
Imaaging and autoguiding: ZWO ASIair Pro
Total Exposure Time: 2.5 hours; 30 minutes each for LRGB channels (10x3min subs)
Post -processing: DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop, NIK Color Efex Pro, Noiseware

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Member Max Pike Imaged the Iris Nebula on Oct 17th, Nov 4th and Nov 5th


Located in the constellation Cepheus, the Iris Nebula (NGC 7023) is a reflection nebula, where a close bright star illuminates the gas and dust around it. It's about 1300ly from Earth.
Thanks for sharing Max.
Keith

Max's Image is 25x5min L, 20x3min R,G,B
Explore Scientific ED102
Stellarvue .8x reducer/flattener
Moonlite Focuser w/autofocus
Baader LRGB filters
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro Mono Camera
AWO 290.. Mini &OAG
Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro Mount



Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wide Field Imaging In a Local Park In NJ

 Hillsborouugh Township. NJ is very supportive towards our use of the parks for astronomy and imaging. They let us use them after dark and in the past, I've had star parties with sometimes with as many as 120 members of the public showing up.

Recently, I used the darker skies with NJAA members Kah-Wai Lin and Len Cacciator to practice setting up our new equipment... I'll post images as they are taken.

Below: Kah-Wai is setting up his new Williams Optics 51mm and guide scope to his Sony Z6 for a shot.


Below: Len Cacciatore is polar aligning his AVX mount to his new Canon.