February 9-10, 2013
Misha and I embarked to Williams Hill for a two-day extended object imaging run with the telescopes. No one was silly enough to join us for the 24F nights, but we had a great time together and it was well worth the data!
Our camp setup (a serious upgrade over the traditional backpacking rig) -
The telescopes in the background and a Misha who prefers my sleeping pad to his bed -
I took a nice GoPro time-lapse setup sequence, but the low temperatures killed the battery prematurely, corrupting the entire 64GB SD card:(
Fortunately, the other equipment was much more rugged and coped fine. I shall post a DSLR time-lapse soon of the imaging night. Below is a single calibrated frame from the Horsehead Nebula imaging session taken with my Nikon D7000 on the 8'' Imaging Newtonian. Note the secondary reflection from the coma-corrector optic (later removed).
Calibrating and processing over 400 36 megapixel frames (16 hrs of processing and ~600 GB of data) at home on two 8-core machines at once with PixInsight.
The final Horsehead Nebula shot (not that great, but a start). Flame nebula to the bottom left and the horsehead on the right. HDR multiscale-wavelets, Atrous wavelets, dynamic background calibration. I shall try to post a more blow by blow processing account soon.
The high and low pixel rejection maps from the winsorized sigma-clipping image integration (after image calibration and registration). Can you spot the meteor trail?! There are also two satellite trails on the left and a serious internal reflection on the right.
And some other post processed images from the two nights (on a 200mm Nikon lens, 105 mm Nikon lens with the D800 and the D7000 at prime focus of the 8'' Imaging Newtonian):
Wide-field shot of Orion's belt and sword, including Horsehead and Orion Nebulas:
The morning after:
And some awesome physics at sunrise:)
I shall post some more images soon and update the Astrophotography collection with high-resolution versions of these files after some more post-processing. Stay tuned!