Solar Imaging

Various images of our sun taken through a specifically designed solar telescope. Never look at the sun without the right solar filters.

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Transit of Venus

Venus Transit

During the once in a lifetime Venus Transit event, I was all setup with two solar telescopes HD recorders and other equipment. However the weather did not cooperate and it was totally overcast :-(.  I did manage to capture a few seconds of video here and there when a crack in the clouds allowed.
This image is a processed from a single frame from the video where there was the least amount of cloud.

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Horse Head Nebula

I have tried in the past to get a reasonable image of the horse head nebula, but have never had much success due to the light pollution and lack of experience.

I wanted to take advantage of the relatively nice weather and started trying to image the Horse Head Nebula. Light pollution has become a problem in my area, and after several terrible results in the past using a colour camera, I decided to splurge and purchased a second hand QSI 583 mono camera with filters.

Man I should have done this sooner. This is the result of first light for this camera.  The image below is not fantastic and is only monochrome but I am very happy with the amount of detail I can see in this test exposure from a suburb that is heavily light polluted now.

It was windy so the Active Optics unit was working overtime and there was a very bright moon very close to the target, so I used an Astrodon  Ha filter. This is the result of 4×10 minute exposures through an ED80. There are many issues with the image for the fussy peeps, but it taken  in difficult conditions with new gear and much cussing, as I was working out how to get it all working together. I can see more detail in the nebulous regions then I have ever managed to capture before.  In the past the cloudy region around the horse head always looked plain and featureless. This time I have picked up more detail.

I now want to capture much more data as 40 mins is no where near enough for this faint object, but of course its gonna be cloudy for the next week hehe.

The result of 4×10 minute exposures, through an ED80 telescope, using a QSI mono camera with an HA filter.


My First Narrow-band Colour Image

Here is my First ever colour image in Narrow Band using the Hubble Palette (kind of).
I am still learning how to process  images taken through narrow band filters, so I probably got a bit carried away 🙂

Eta Carinae nebula: Total exposure time is approximately 1.5 hours with 6 x 5 minute exposures for each narrow band filter:  Ha, Sii, and Oiii Filters.

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Hydrogen-Alpha Filter vs Red Filter for Astro Imaging

I decided to up the stakes and I purchased a second hand QSI 583wsg camera with a full set of Astrodon RGB and Narrow-band filters.

I have only ever used one shot colour cameras in the past. Either an Canon 40D or the QHY8 cooled camera. The QSI is my first mono camera.

I have only spent a couple of nights using the camera but what amazed me about using the Ha filter is that even though the Hydrogen Alpha filter captures a much narrower portion of the red band (hence the narrow-band name), for the same amount of time it revealed much more nebula data.  Below are two images; both are a single 5 minute exposure on the same night The first is with the Astrodon red filter, the same is with the Astrodon 6mm Ha filter.  Although the HA reveals less stars it shows a lot more of the nebula.

I have also included a spectrum from the Astrodon Site to show where the H-Alpha filter sits compared to the standard Red filter

If you click on either of the images below, they will be displayed in a pop-up that will allow you to toggle between the two images for comparison. It really does highlight the difference the HA filter can make.

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The image below shows the difference between the HA filer and the Red filter on the colour spectrum. The OII H-Alpha and SII entries show the filters used for narrow-band photography. Often referred to as the Hubble Pallet.

Astrodon Filters