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August 20 2012

Flat Frames Part 1 : Calibrating for Uneven Illumination

Posted by Duncan at JD2456159.51873

Since the issue of flat frames seems to come up quite a bit in discussions at the various imaging workshops, I thought I would spend some free time while at OSP writing up an explanation with some examples. This is part 1 of 3, with the other two parts to follow describing an example of applying flat frames and a walk through of flat box construction.

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Filed under Methods & Procedures


August 19 2012

M81 From Oregon Star Party

Posted by Duncan at JD2456159.24452

First process of data captured Wednesday and Thursday night at Oregon Star Party, using my new telescope, a Celestron EdgeHD 11 with a .7x focal reducer. I captured the luminance data on the first night, starting at about 3am, and then the RGB data from about 3am on Thursday night. Thursday had looked like it might be a washout due to smoke from forest fires that at one point completely obscured the sky, but it finally blew away around 2am and stayed clear all the way to dawn.

Resolution is very much seeing limited here; at a focal length of 1960mm I have a pixel scale of just over 0.5 arcseconds per pixel, and the target was still quite low in the sky.

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Filed under Galaxies


May 14 2012

Counting Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Posted by Duncan at JD2456061.60211

My first imaging opportunity in several months thanks to an apparent early start to summer here in Oregon. Both Friday and Saturday nights were clear and uncharacteristically dry, resulting in some unusually transparent skies. This is galaxy cluster Abell 1656 in Coma Berenices, appearing quite close to dead overhead here in Oregon; at a latitude of 45 degrees or so, it can be found by looking due south at 11pm and almost straight up, at about 75 degrees from the horizon.

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Filed under Galaxies


November 06 2011

The Black Fish Nebula from Skyview Acres

Posted by Duncan at JD2455872.38344

This was imaged from Skyview Acres just outside of Goldendale, Washington, a private site owned by Phil Reid of Vancouver, Washington that he generously makes available to astronomers. The skies are fairly dark and generally transparent, with just a little local light pollution from an outside light at a house about a mile away.

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Filed under Nebulas


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October 12 2012

Capturing an Exoplanet Transit From My Back Yard

Posted by Duncan at JD2456212.59248

This is my first attempt at capturing the transit of an exoplanet from a couple of weeks ago on September 30th. It's not a particularly clean curve (unsurprisingly given how little I did to correct for known deficiencies in the capture process) and I missed the very start of the transit, but nonetheless the transit is plainly there in the data.

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Filed under Exoplanets


September 02 2012

Flat Frames Part 2 : An Example of Applying Flats

Posted by Duncan at JD2456173.2109

This is part 2 in a series of 3; part 1 can be found here

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Filed under Methods & Procedures


August 20 2012

M101 From Oregon Star Party

Posted by Duncan at JD2456160.21972

This is a total of about 3 1/2 hours of exposure time on M101, taken over Wednesday and Friday nights at Oregon Star Party. I wasn't able to collect any data on the Thursday night due to smoke from forest fires, which eventually cleared, but not before M101 had sunk too low in the sky to image.

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Filed under Galaxies


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