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Dylan O'Donnell
1,756 followers -
Astrophotographer - Art, Nature, Music & Technology nerd - Byron Bay, NSW Australia
Astrophotographer - Art, Nature, Music & Technology nerd - Byron Bay, NSW Australia

1,756 followers
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3 Panel Mosaic to show the distance from Horsehead to Orion
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The clouds parted! It’s a miracle! In the secular, that-seemed-unlikely kind of way. But I don’t want to talk about the weather, I’m not a farmer, just an astronomer with some pent up, astrophysical energy that needed release. This is m45, the Pleiades aka The Seven Sisters aka The Subaru logo taken over 2 nights with 2 hours in mono (black and white) and 2 hours in natural colour using 1 and 3 minute exposures respectively with the Celestron RASA and Celestron CGX mount. Unlike most other nebulous regions, this cluster of stars simply illuminates the dust and gas instead of the dust and gas glowing itself in brilliant red/pinks. This gives it a beautiful crystal blue.

Processing notes for dorks - The diffraction spikes are pretty kooky. They seem to flare in various directions, which is typical for bright stars around a frame and a reflecting telescope. I exacerbated the flares with cross beams of wool obstructing the scope. I don’t normally do this but cluster type regions with bright feature stars look ok with them. It’s a tight crop so a bit smaller region than the full focal length of the RASA/8300-chip combo allows, but cropping is a lazy astronomers best friend! The base photoshop layer is mono/qhy9 data and the layer above is colour/qhy12 data with the blending mode set to colour. Calibration and integration in PixInsight first.
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Just a quick vlog about what I've been up to. Let me know if you have any requests for future videos. :)
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Really thrilled to have one of my photos on the European Space Agency homepage tonight as "Image of the Week"!

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/11/Ghostly_green

"Title Ghostly green
Released 02/11/2017 8:45 am
Copyright ESA/D. O'Donnell
Description
Just in time for Halloween this week: a green deep-space tracking station.

This image was taken by Byron Bay-based astrophotographer Dylan O'Donnell, in October during a photo shoot at the New Norcia station, some 120 km north of Perth, Western Australia.

The ‘ghostly green’ was created by reflecting a floodlight off the station’s 35 m-diameter deep-space antenna and structure.

The station routinely communicates with spacecraft orbiting Mars as well as ESA’s Gaia and XMM observatory missions. In future, it will link up with BepiColombo at Mercury and the Euclid astronomical observatory.

Since August, the station has been operating in part on a new solar power system, which, together with a local water recycling system, is helping to boost the station’s sustainability and reduce its environmental impact."
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Ok so I talk a lot of smack to the Northern Hemisphere and to a lesser extent galaxy people in general (I'm team nebula, all the way), but I really have to hold my tongue when it comes to this monster of a galaxy, M31 Andromeda.

This beast is heading towards us and will "crash" into our galaxy, The Milky Way, ultimately merging after some disruption into a super galaxy. "Milkdromeda" is a suggested name, but "The Milk Shake" is also puntastic. Interestingly, unless our central black holes merge in the event when the two galaxies crash into each other, they may not necessarily physically touch. The hundreds of billions of solar systems (stars) are all mostly separated by great voids of space, so while a large gravitational dance will ensue, actual physical contact between any of our stars is mathematically unlikely.

It's barely able to be photographed from down here in Australia. At this time of the year for a few short months it briefly rises to a few degrees above the horizon. Being fairly north within Australia itself, it gets up to about 19 degrees from my location, but that's only for some minutes really. So this photo is taken, quickly, over two nights as it rotates from about 16 degrees-19 degrees. One small advantage I have is the super fast Celestron F2 RASA so this is made from a total of about 80 minutes worth of 1 minute exposures. Also using the CGX with a good polar alignment, I didn't need to guide at all. I'm super impressed with the setup and result and it's a big improvement on last year. Zoomed in I can see the dust lanes of M32 (The smaller galaxy on the right), and several red speckled nebulae on the lower edges. As you can tell, the whole thing is also too big to fit into this focal length!
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A Selfie with DSA-1 😆
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The Southern Celestial pole and the European Space Agency's deep space tracking station, in New Norcia, Western Australia. I took this image last Saturday while the dish was in its "parked" position pointing straight up, and intended to exposure for an hour for the star trails effect. About 15 minutes in though, the team in Europe threw the dish into action and it swung around to gather data from one of it's active mission satellites. So now I have these 2 images, and I like them both :)

ESA and I have agreed to release these images (indeed, all of them I shot this weekend) into the Creative Commons. Stay tuned for more.

ESA / D.O'Donnell CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
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18/10/2017
2 Photos - View album
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Just over 12 years have passed since I posted a photo of my little cousin Holly, aged 7 years old standing in the morning light and shadow. Today we replicated the same image, with the afternoon light and shadow only now she is 20 years old.

Canon 6D mk II, 1/100″ – ISO 100 – F5.6

(c) 2017 deography.com
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Portrait of a city! Not a star in sight. 😬 Canon 6D mk ii 42 x 2.5" exposures ISO 100 f3.2 #canonaustralia #brisbane #nightscape #skyline #canon6dmarkii #longexposure #bladerunner
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