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Astronomy News - Exploring Space

Montage of images taken by Philip Benson - 23rd June 2010




Philip is an astronomy distance learning student, currently taking the Certificate for Introduction to Astronomy. He is a keen observer and has produced an excellent montage of some of his own images, ranging from lunar to spiral galaxies beyond the Local Group of galaxies. Below Philip describes the techniques he used to get these images.


Ok well here is my entry into this. Below is a summary of the equipment used and methods employed to produce the images.

The nebula and galaxy images were obtained using an SBIG ST8300M mono CCD camera attached to either a Skywatcher 190MN reflector or William Optics Megrez 72 apochromat refractor.

Guiding was performed using a Starlight Xpress Lodestar dedicated autoguider attached to a Skywatcher 100ED Pro refractor working at F9. The mount used was a Skywatcher EQ6 Pro

To get the colour I used combinations of LRGB broad band and Ha, Hb and OIII narrow band filters from Astronomik fitted into a Starlight Xpress USB filter wheel. The red, green and blue exposures were then imported into Photoshop to produce the final colour result.

The lunar image was taken using the SBIG camera in conjunction with the Ha filter + and 190MN telescope. I also used an Orion double polarising filter to reduce glare to optimum levels.

For the planetary images I used a DFK 21AF04 mono firewire camera from Imaging Source attached to a Skywatcher Skymax 180 Maksutov along with a 2x barlow to push the focal length to around f30. The resulting AVI files were then processed in Registax and then finally sharpened in Photoshop.

The nebula and galaxy images were taken using Maxim DL software. The resulting subs of 5 or 10 minutes were then stacked and aligned using Maxim DL before being finally processed in Photoshop.

All nebula and galaxy images were also dark frame and flat frame subtracted using maxim.

Finally just to confirm all the images included have previously been posted on here and all were taken using my own equipment at my home.



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