Rigel and surroundings; test image.
January 16, 2008 20:48 UT.
I used a very short clear spell to find out how my 85mm lens - salvaged from photo enlarging equipment - would perform under the stars when combined with my filterwheel and ATK16IC camera
Yesterday I had spent several hours during daylight to arrive at the proper lengths of the barrel holding the lens and the M42 ring I wanted to attach to the barrel.
A disadvantage is that the lens has no focusing capabilities itself so I must rotate the lens in the T2 threading of the filterwheel, which seems to work.
Because of the very limited time - clouds were arriving much too fast - I could do no precise focusing, but the results are promising.
FOV [calculated and confirmed by measuring on the stars]: 193.82 x 145.37 arc minutes.
Imaging: 85mm lens, ATK16IC camera, Astronomik L filter.
Exposures: L: 2x30s; RGB: not imaged; unguided.
The Bubble Nebula before and after Dynamic Background Extraction in PixInsight LE.
Sometimes the DBE might be too agressive to your liking and e.g. nebulosity you wanted to preserve has been removed.
Then a reduced subtraction in PixelMath helped me: I set the Operand RGB parameters to 0.5 (you should experiment per image to get the right values!). as can be seen in this screen print
July 31, 2006 21:19 - 21:32 UT.
Dynamic Background Extraction in PixInsight LE
Vignetting and light pollution are the enemies of astro-imagers.
When imaging from urban or suburban locations we have to work knowing that the sky background will never be truly neutral nor uniformly illuminated and coloured in our raw images, especially at low and intermediate heights above the horizon, and varying wildly as a function of local conditions of transparency.
This is what we know as sky gradients.
October 22, 2005
And here is what an USM of 90 pixels does to a Mars image, but when properly applying the wavelets in Registax the same result might be reached
August 25, 2005.
Dark frames: Gain and AMP-OFF/AMP-ON settings [858Kb].
July 11, 2005.
Field of view of 300mm and 400mm SLR Photolens with SC3 camera when imaging the whole disk of the sun or the moon.
I wanted to see the effects of imaging Jupiter at 5 fps, 10 fps and 15 fps.
In each case I did my utmost to obtain the best results, both during imaging and post processing.
For your convenience and better understanding you can download my camera setting recordings that were logged immeditately after each AVI was captured.
For the post processing I followed my Planetary Post Processing method

Click on the image to see:

  • a raw unprocessed image of each AVI
  • the result after aligning and stacking in K3CCDTools 2 (the Planetary Wizard)
  • the result after wavelet processing in Registax 3
  • the result after histogram adjustment in Photoshop

In my opinion 15 fps gives the best results for my current setup and conditions.
Moon mosaic: imaging in ' fly-by' with the RA motor OFF or normal imaging with the RA motor ON?

QCUIAG friend and fellow Dutchman Rob Kantelberg enhanced my fly-by technique: he aims at the moon and shoots AVI's until he has covered the whole moon.
After processing his AVI's he also uses IMerge to construct the final mosaic.
On October 30, 2004 I used both scenarios to find out if Rob's more laborious technique was worth the effort.
Click on the image to see my results side-by-side and click here (655K) for the animation (also including a 'single frames' version with noise reduction in NeatImage).

Want to know more about moon mosaics? A tutorial maybe? Just click here!

My usual method, the YRGB procedure and K3CCDTools 2 with Y-filter: post processing methods compared.
February 23, 2004 20:29 UT.
I processed using two different procedures; it is interesting to see the colour differences.
Deep sky
I have attempted to capture faint nebulosity (of SH2-88) with my Vesta SC3a b/w, but so far it was unsuccesful.
Click here to view the camera settings and the effect thereof when imaging deep sky.

July 10, 2003
I wanted to find out which filter and camera settings to use with my 135 mm SLR Photolens and 2x tele converter when imaging the sun.
Filters used:
1. Baader AstroSolar Foil at the front of my SLR Photolens, but behind my UV filter, so that the foil could not get away
2. Baader Infra Red blocking Filter
3. Contrast Booster Filter

I made several series of images and after processing made a collage of my findings.

May 3, 2003.
The Gamma and Gain settings of my Philips Vesta Pro: wide field imaging of Coma Berenices.
Currently I am getting the best results with Brightness 50, Gamma 50 and Gain 40; magnitude reached: 8.4.
The GAMMA setting of my Philips Vesta Pro.

The GAIN setting of my Philips Vesta Pro: planetary imaging.

The impact of the stack size [Registax] on the quality of the result image.