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A Months worth of Imaging and Processing

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Back in 2012 when I wrote this post, I had no idea of the dedication needed for astrophotography. Spending a month taking pictures of and processing a single target is nothing. In fact, to spend less time than that on a particular subject now, would seem odd. I guess you could say that this experience began to reveal the truth about this addictive hobby - it's time-consuming! Add in the fact that acquiring the images happens at night, and you've got some long days ahead of you. With that said, here is my report on the Iris Nebula from many years ago. I was just starting to realize what i…

The Iris Nebula

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The Iris Nebula is a beautiful, blue reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus. Cataloged as NGC 7023, this deep sky object is a superb choice for your camera and telescope. If you haven't photographed a reflection nebula before, you are in for a real treat. The dust and reflected light associated with the Iris Nebula are unlike other nebulae types such as emission and planetary. NGC 7023 - The Iris Nebula The Iris Nebula (NGC 7023) is a prime example of how beautiful reflection nebulae can be.  I was only able to capture a little over an hour of exposures on this one, and y…

Monster Galaxy

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This post showcases one of my first images of the Andromeda Galaxy. The photo was captured using a small refractor telescope on a tracking equatorial mount. I have since photographed Messier 31 several times through a variety of different telescopes. Have a look at my experiences photographing Andromeda using a William Optics Z61 refractor on an iOptron SkyGuider Pro mount: Let's Photograph the Andromeda Galaxy. This post includes a video and description of my deep sky astrophotography setup. M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy On Friday July 21st, I spent another lonely night at the CCCA Obse…

M8 – The Lagoon Nebula

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The following image is of the Lagoon Nebula in the constellation Sagittarius. Ever since I got into Astrophotography, I've wanted to image this nebula because it is so big and colorful. Emission nebulae are some of the most beautiful and colorful objects in the night sky. I photographed this deep-sky target using my 80mm refractor telescope, the Explore Scientific ED80 Triplet APO. My DSLR camera (stock Canon Rebel Xsi) was attached to the telescope using a t-ring adapter and mount. I also used a 2" William Optics 0.8X Field Flattener/Reducer that was designed for use with F/6 telescopes.…

transit of venus

Once in a Lifetime Event

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On June 5th, 2012, I witnessed the Planet Venus transit the Sun from my backyard. I used an Orion 4.5" Skyquest Dobsonian telescope with a homemade solar filter to observe the event. My parents joined me to watch with their solar glasses on. I remember the feeling of watching the Sun up close through the telescope as I bathed in the warmth of our star at the same time. It was a memorable experience. The most interesting part of the event for me, was that the planet Venus begain to cross in fron of the Sun at the exact moment it was scheduled to. It's truly amazsing how predictable the mo…