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Terry Hancock
607 followers -
Amateur Astro-photographer
Amateur Astro-photographer

607 followers
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NGC884 & NGC869 The Double Cluster
Just going through some old data and I came across this one that I captured on NOV 9 of 2015 using an Astro-Tech AT65 Quad Astrograph that had been returned to the manufacturer as faulty and then sent to me for troubleshooting, this is only 3 x 180 seconds each LRGB and using Optolong Filters. I found no issues with it in fact I was very impressed with the optics, a perfect combination using the very sensitive QHY23 Mono CCD

The Double Cluster in the constellation of Perseus lie very close to us at only 7500 light years and is one of the most popular targets in the Night Sky for amateur Astronomers and imagers, a perfect object for testing a refractor.

Image Tech Details
Captured from Stephen Wessling Observatory, Fremont, Michigan Nov 9th 2015
Optics: Astro-Tech AT64 Quadruplet Refractor
CCD: QHY23M Monochrome @ -20C
Rainbow-Astro RST-400 EQ Mount
Filters by Optolong
Exposures
3 x 180 sec LRGB
Total Integration time 36 minutes
Pre Processed with CCDStack, Post Processed in CS6
Star Spikes Pro used for Star diffraction spikes

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Supernova in M66 (M66 & M65 Galaxies)
Approximately 30 Million Light Years away in the Constellation Leo.
Supernova ASASSN-16fq, discovered on 28th May 2016 by G. Bock ASAS-SN using data from the quadruple 14-cm "Brutus" telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii.

My Image Details
Captured from Downunderobservatory Fremont, Michigan May 28th
Optics: Astro-Tech 12INT F4 Newtonian
CCD: QHY9M Monochrome @ -30C
Filters by Optolong
Exposures
4 x 300 sec LRGB

Captured using the new Astro-Tech 12INT F4 12" Truss Tube Newtonian, I also noticed a rather obscure object (the red object visible in the bottom lower right of this image) travelling very slowly during the 80 minute capture which thanks to the help of friend and imaging partner Tom Masterson we can confrm that this is the large main belt Asteroid 28 Bellona.
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5/29/16
2 Photos - View album

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QHY16200 The Veil under a Full Moon

I'm excited to be testing the new QHY16200A using the huge KAF-16200 CCD Sensor APS-H chip which is in between the KAF8300 and the KAF11002 was developed in collaboration between QHY and ON Semiconductor (formally Truesense) 
For details and specifications you can read here http://qhyccd.com/IC16200A.html

For the testing I have it mounted on my Takahashi E-180 Astrograph and the Rainbow Astro RST-400 EQ Mount, captured from my backyard observatory in Western Michigan. For capturing I used Maxim DL5. For the QHY settings I use Binning 1x1 all channels, Gain 1 and Offset 140. Low Speed for low noise, Remove OverScan area. Cooling at -20C. 

With remove overscan selected the final image size is 3616 x 4520 pixels

Initially I did have some issues with the Ascom driver however this has now been resolved and I am impressed with the Camera's functionality and use.

I used Dark, Bias and Flat Masters, Pre Processed in CCDStack2 and Post Processed in Photoshop CS6

Exposures
3 x 300 sec LRGB
8 x 600 sec H-Alpha (7nm)
using Optolong Filters   

This image does not qualify as an exceptional first light image but at first clear night for months despite having a full moon in the sky I'll take what I can get and I was eager (and desperate) to try out the QHY16200 for the first time. 
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QHY16200
3 Photos - View album

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I'm honored to be a Guest Speaker at this year's Northeast Astro Imaging Conference (NEAIC) April 7 & 8, the 2 days leading up to NEAF held in New York.
I'll be doing 4, 1 hour long talks in the "Introduction to Astro-Imaging" slots
Thursday April 7th 11:00-12:00, 2:30-3:30
Friday April 8th 11:00, 1:00-2:00
Here's an overview of my talks
Astrophotography is a rewarding pastime, one that blends art and technology with an in-depth understanding of astronomy. My approach is to reduce complexity and keep it simple to improve the photographer's overall level of enjoyment. In these 4, 1 hour long talks I will show you the basics including selecting the right equipment and software, using your equipment, gathering data, pre-processing and finally post-processing your images using Photoshop.

Part 1 Thursday April 7th 11:OO to 12:00 midday
Selecting Equipment
Select and purchase the best equipment and software you need for astrophotography according to your budget, the mount, the telescope, CCD or DSLR camera for imaging, understand the pros and cons of each technology.

Part 2 April th 2:30 to 3:30 PM
Setting up for the first time.
Correctly set up your equatorial mount and aligning it to true North for optimum tracking. Setting up the guide camera and optimizing the parameters for successful guiding. Setting up and configure your camera and accessories to acquire images. The role of planetarium programs in planning your targets, and mount operations.

Part 3. April 8th 11:00 to 12:00 midday
Pre-Processing
Calibrating and stacking your images using off-the-shelf software. Developing a workflow that is consistent and repeatable.

Part 4 April 8th 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Post Processing.
Understanding and using the basic techniques for post processing with Photoshop and other image processing software. Developing a workflow for using the software for obtaining the best results consistently.

I will be providing data for the 4th part of my talk on Post Processing for anyone who wishes to participate, bring along your laptop. You must have any version of Photoshop CS or CC and the following tools and actions. GradientXTerminator, Carboni's Astronomy Tools and RBA's HLVG filter
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A review of The Armchair Astronomer by Space.com.
Thanks so much to the editorial staff at Space.com who published an article and review about our e-book, featured also is the video I put together.
http://www.space.com/32264-armchair-astronomer-book-tours-nebula.html?cmpid=514630_20160315_59360166&adbid=10153372580816466&adbpl=fb&adbpr=17610706465

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NEAIC 2016
I'm honored to be a Guest Speaker at this year's Northeast Astro Imaging Conference (NEAIC) April 7 & 8, the 2 days leading up to NEAF held in New York.
I'll be doing 4, 1 hour long talks in the "Introduction to Astro-Imaging" slots
Thursday April 7th 11:00-12:00, 2:30-3:30
Friday April 8th 11:00, 1:00-2:00
Here's an overview of my talks
Astrophotography is a rewarding pastime, one that blends art and technology with an in-depth understanding of astronomy. My approach is to reduce complexity and keep it simple to improve the photographer's overall level of enjoyment. In these 4, 1 hour long talks I will show you the basics including selecting the right equipment and software, using your equipment, gathering data, pre-processing and finally post-processing your images using Photoshop.
Hope to see you there
http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaic.html


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I have just put together a Video containing the majority of the images that were used in our e-book “The Armchair Astronomer” I do hope you like it.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsqHStb90fY

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I hope you enjoy it

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I’m currently beta testing the new Astronomy Technologies (Astro-Tech) AT12INT 12” F4 Truss Tube Newtonian Astrograph courtesy of www.astronomics.com and here are my First Light images from January 4th 2016, seeing conditions were 3 out of 5 under my Bortle 4 skies.
I’m very happy with the results so far and enjoying the scope, would be much more fun if only the weather would cooperate. I’ll be doing a review of the scope shortly. 
 
Details
Date of Capture 4th January 2016
Location: DownUnderObservatory, Fremont MI
Astro-Tech AT12INT F4 Truss Tube Astrograph https://www.astronomics.com/12-f4-carbon-fiber-truss-tube-imaging-newtonian_p20370.aspx
CCD: QHY9M Monochrome with KAF8300 chip cooled to -50C https://www.astrofactors.com/product/cid-79.html
Filters by Optolong (LRGB and H-Alpha 7nm)
Baader MKII Coma Corrector
Guiding Off Axis with QHY5IIL Mono CCD
Exposures
Total Integration time 160 minutes
H-Alpha 60 min, 6 x 10 min bin 1x1
LRGB 100 min 5 x 5 min each channel bin 1x1
Pre Processing in CCDStack and Post Processing in Photoshop CS6
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Astro-Tech AT12INT
2 Photos - View album

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M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, is one of the closest large galaxies to Earth.  It’s visible to the naked eye in a dark sky, and is a fine sight in a large telescope.  It lies in the constellation Triangulum around 2.5 million light years distant and has a diameter of around 60,000 light years.  Because of its size and relative closeness to us, this galaxy displays a wealth of detail in photographs.  Even through the eyepiece some of the brighter knots of star clusters and glowing nebulae stand out enough that they were given separate catalogue numbers.    In making this image a hydrogen alpha filter was used to capture the deep red light emitted by nebulae in M33.  These structures are similar to our Milky Way’s Orion Nebula.  The image also highlights the star-rich core of M33, encircled by dark dust lanes.

Ron Brecher (astrodoc.ca) and I collaborated to make this image.  I acquired all the color and H-alpha data and Ron collected the luminance data.   Each of us produced several versions of the image, which were then blended to produce this result. 

Color and H-alpha data acquired with 130 mm TMB refractor and QHY9 camera.  Luminance data acquired with 250 mm ASA reflector operating at f/6.8 and SBIG STL-11000 camera.  Processed with Registar, PixInsight and Photoshop.

12x15m R, 16x15m G, 16x15m B, 12x15m Ha and 55x15m L (total 29hr 5m).

Ron and I each produced several versions of the image using our typical workflows, with Ron using PixInsight and me using Photoshop.  These images were blended to produce the final result.

Resolution is approximately 1 arcsecond per pixel.
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